It would be nice if when we read an article or hear or see some news, there was a tag with a journalist which says he is the mouth piece of so and so. In the English print media after a while one would get to know the bent of that journalist, spouting the views of their sponsor, or who only reports in favorable light of and sycophantic words of his sponsor.
Especially in the post 8th Janaury 2015 era, where there is broad license on what is written and there is little if any censorship by the Editors or Owners to prevent anti Govt. bias, it is all the more important that Journalists actually appreciate the new found freedom, and give credit where it is due, to the people, and therefore report in as objective a way as possible.
Due to the historic bias, and the 10 years of MR rule that effectively bought loyalty by shameless familiarity with Journalists, giving them laptops, and interest free loans, these compromising strings show in their writings. As a result there is still more biased reporting on behalf of an administration that has been clearly thrown out by the people, due to the Journalist knowing these rogues personally not being able to change their spots, and see them without the rose tinted glasses they seem to look at them still!
It will take a decade at least to change the Media culture, to return to a level of professionalism that only a few journalists have today. I trust budding journalists who go through their training learn what it takes to be a good reporter, especially an investigative reporter, and learn the inherent bias one comes with, as a result of one’s own experiences, or family background, and therefore being quite aware of one’s own prejudices due to that. If then they try to be objective despite having personal preferences, when reporting and writing for public consumption, they will do their profession a service.
I don’t know how many journalists reading this will understand what I am saying here. That goes to the crux of the matter, as today’s journalists don’t even realize how prejudiced they are towards certain people, let alone ideologies. How pathetic is their writing?
Taking the past Government they did not have an ideology as such, it was an era of Robber Barons akin to the turn of the 20th Century in the US, when they ruled, such as the Rockefellers and Carnegies, so being paid to write positively about crooks, was part of the course, as money was not an object and “arakku botaleta liyana warthakaru” was a dime a dozen. WE MUST CHANGE THIS PATTERN FORTHWITH.
An appeal to Newspaper owners and also those of other media. It is time to explain to your staff the importance of objectivity despite personal prejudices, and implore them that only with such reporting styles, will they improve their product and by that same measure improve the quality of the paper they are reporting for.
It is with some satisfaction that I see the yearning for political news amongst our newspaper reading public that the circulation of the Sinhala Newspapers has gone up so much after 8th January 2015. However this yearning and readership has not been satiated by responsible reporting and therein lies the conundrum. Time for reflection and responsible reporting.