Rohit Dubey

What kind of responsibility does a journalist have to keep in mind to tackle modern day issues in media channels?

by Rohit Dubey
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RE: What kind of responsibility does a journalist have to keep in mind to tackle modern day issues in media channels?

Jayanta Ghosh
Jayanta Ghosh
Verified Career Expert
Chief Mentor at Waymark Learning Solutions LLP
  • Kolkata

Responsibilities of Journalists:

It is true that we are living in the materialistic world today, but a journalist is not a part of the hoi polloi of humanity. He is deemed an elite, a person with sensitive ears and eyes. He has the power to transform the data gathered during an event into a video clip or an article that could trigger a mass movement.  During the past, we have witnessed many such incidents and no doubt, we shall relish much more like these in the times to come. Hence, if the pen is mightier than the sword, why should we not give it the burden of responsibility? The tip of the pen is capable of doing more damage to the nations and societies of our times than a gun or sword. A gun or sword can mutilate the bodies of humans, but a pen can annihilate a nation!

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The journalist of all genres must define a set of responsibilities for themselves. They must realize that the power to speak, write or express must always be coupled with the responsibility of gathering facts and reporting them to the audiences in the right context. Let us delineate some of the vital responsibilities of all the journalists, as follows:-

  • Responsibility towards the Organization/Firm: Journalists may be working for private sector firms or public sector agencies. They must remain loyal to their employers. They must not give news or information to the competitors of their firms for the sake of money, materialistic assets, or other favors. Loyalty towards one’s organization determines one’s success in that organization. Journalists are no exception to this rule.


  • The responsibility of Gathering News or Data: Journalists must collect the data or news from the place/spot from where they are supposed to collect it. They should rely on primary data and not on secondary data. The latter could be biased. Primary data must be collected personally. People must be interviewed at the spot of the event, accident, or mishap. If possible, statistics released by the government should be taken, but the journalist must rely on his own judgment and inquisitive mind to collect vital data. Example: Government officials state that the number of dead persons at the site of the particular accident is 810. The journalist must visit the said site and count the number of dead or alive people. If he cannot do so, he must contact the paramedical staff or doctors to find out the actual figure of the dead. He must be able to dig deeply; and in most of the cases, he would not be allowed to do so. He must strive to get the right figures and not mere approximations. If the data obtained by him are not correct, he must dispatch the data to the head office or data collection center with a not, which should state: Data not Updated; OR Information Unreliable.


  • Accurate processing of Data: In many cases, usually during elections, a journalist would be required to collect and process data. He must possess basic mathematical and/or statistical skills to do so. If need be, he can take the help of a professional who may be able to prepare such data for him. Finally, he should be able to interpret the data and send the report to his headquarters. Alternatively, he should be ready to face the camera, if he is a part of TV channel. While he covers live events, he must be able to collect and analyze such pile of data at a very high speed. He should be able to interview people, politicians, and experts. He should also be able to conclude what they want to state. The time period allotted to him would be only a few minutes; he would have to pack large chunks of information in a video clip of two or three minutes.


  • The responsibility of presentation/Dispatch of Data: The journalist must present the data or dispatch it with great dedication and seriousness. He must do so with professional finesse so that readers or viewers should take him seriously. Moreover, the staff of his organization/firm should also be convinced that his presentation/data is the best of its kind. He should not mumble, move sideways, or use difficult words. He must stand erect before the camera and have news/facts ready in his mind. If the news is a pleasant one, he should have a smiling face. If the news related to a riot, death, arson or national loss, he should remain grim-faced. At the end of the news, he should inform the audience about the final actions being taken (by the State or local authorities) with respect to the event. Then, he must state his name, place of incident and name of the channel he represents.


  • The responsibility of Handling/Managing Juniors and peers: Quite often, the journalist would be required to work in teams. He should know how to manage his juniors. He should not have ego clashes with other journalists. Rather, he should come forward to give them support in their activities. He should not have a duel with members of his team. He must work as a part of the team to cover the news or event at the site. If he is exploited, he should keep quite. Later, he should discuss the issue with his team and ask why he was maltreated. If a peaceful solution does not come up, he should talk to his superiors and discuss the problem.


  • Skills in handling sensitive Equipment: The journalist is also responsible for handling and operating the equipment under his control. He should know how to use the ordinary camera, digital camera, sound recorder and other such devices as are used to record news and events. The journalist should also be able to use advanced audiovisual devices like a movie camera, in case his cameraman is sick, absent or injured. Normally, journalists of TV channels have the support of professional cameramen, but at times these cameramen may not be able to cover the event. Most of the devices being used nowadays are based on digital technologies. As such, journalists must be well versed with such technologies, they must also know now to store and maintain digital memory cards, DATs, CD-ROMs, mini disks, batteries and the items used in photography.


  • Responsibilities of working sans the virus of Plagiarism: The journalist must not steal data or facts from his competitors. He should gather data and news on his own. If he does so, he would remain confident of their accuracy. He should process data on his own, or with the help of the members of his team. He should have a strong command over the language in which, he communicates. He should never indulge in plagiarism simply because he does not have time to cover the news or event. If he is a print media journalist, he must edit his articles and news without the support of his team members. He must try to be genuine, original and creative in all aspects of his operational gamut.

For further queries and related information, you can approach the Professional Experts at CareerGuide. Hope this will help you!

RE: What kind of responsibility does a journalist have to keep in mind to tackle modern day issues in media channels?

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