Has Ethical Journalism Taken A Backseat In The Desire Of Being The First And Getting More Shares?

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Main Stream Media is the source of information for the common people. Ever since its inception, people have put their faith and trust in the media. However, the last couple of years have been worst for media not just in India, but internationally too.

Recently, there was an unfortunate stampede incident on a foot overbridge in Mumbai, and 23 people lost their lives. But, a certain section of media was interested in a possible story where a man was allegedly molesting the woman who died in the incident. The unverified video later went viral.

The video showed that a man was purposefully teasing the woman, but according to an eyewitness, these accusations were false. However, assuming that it was a sensational story and could have got a lot of traction on social media, the report was published without any verification. As it occurs on the social media, people started sharing the video without even knowing the truth.

As later published by The Hindu, Prabhadevi, the witness, stated that the man was trying to support her from falling from the foot overbridge’s railing and he was not molesting her.  Sunil Deshmukh, Assistant Commissioner of Police later said that they studied the footage which supports witness’s statement.

This just shows that even mainstream media can get caught up in the race to get higher views and create controversies rather than showing the truth. Some media outlets are busy in leg-pulling and showing that other’s news is fake. Every channel shows that they are the No.1 news channel and bombard the poor viewers with some facts and figures. The question arises that does the viewer even care who No. 1 is as long as the news shown was real and verified.

Such incidents are even seen internationally. Earlier in the year, CNN had published a story without any citations that could have negatively impacted Donald Trump’s political career. Buzzfeed took the same information and published it by stating it was unverified information given by an anonymous British Intelligence Officer.  Buzzfeed’s article achieved over one million views in some hours, and it increased to 3.5 million in less than 24 hours.

It is worth noting that a few media outlets have done some of the most relevant breaking stories and investigative journalism. The only problem is the other media outlets who are purely agenda-driven. All of us should come together and point out such fake reports.

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