First it was TOI (Times of India) Impact. Now, it’s CNN-IBN Impact, Mid-Day Impact, etc.
What’s the impact? The media is supposed to report the news. Lately though, it’s been getting into activism, big time. You find a news story, you push it, you end up getting a cop or two suspended, and then you toot your own horn about impact. The modus operandi varies, the story varies, but the bottom line is that the media entity (newspaper, TV, etc.) harps on its own efficacy. Presumably, this helps advertising. I don’t know, I’m just trying to make an impact.
The latest impacting story was the one about the professor in Ujjain who was allegedly beaten to death by protesting students of the college. Now, a witness has come forward to testify on camera about the guilty students.
Media activism is a dangerous trend because it throws objectivity out of the window. Journalism, according to the American Heritage Dictionary, is “The style of writing characteristic of material in newspapers and magazines, consisting of direct presentation of facts or occurrences with little attempt at analysis or interpretation.”
When you start reporting stories with a decided slant and all but point out who’s guilty, you’re leaving no room for other explanations. I’m not saying that there are always other explanations, but sometimes the truth, as media outlets report it, isn’t the truth but a version of the truth.
Somehow, I don’t think Harischandra would be happy about all this.