Journalism of Fear Vs Journalism of Favour

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January 24, 2021, The Liberacy:- Journalism has been an important part of our Democracy for decades and of the Indian society for generations, as it has enabled us to have the ability to exchange information, which has been a crucial stepping stone for our civilization. Be it the knowledge passed from generation to generation, to the information passed for mundane purposes. For centuries careful combination of both fear and favour has been used to inform the citizens and also to control the masses. From the simple “News” broadcasting to the regular dosage of drama from the very same “News” platform, we have come quite far.

While the media houses play tug-of-war with various propagandas, the masses are distinctly divided in the left, right and central wings. The Free speech that paved the way to the democracy we are enjoying today has been used and misused countlessly for political purposes, undermining the effects it will have on common people like you and me.

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Journalism of Fear Vs Journalism of Favour
Journalism of Fear Vs Journalism of Favour

Hathras gangrape and murder case: One of the latest sexual assault cases that shook the very fabric of our society.
A 19-year-old woman was met with a terrifying fate on 14th September while she was working in the fields of Bhoolgarhi with her mother. After hearing the screams of the woman, the mother rushed only to find her soaked in her own blood, with her tongue mutilated. Later the victim gained consciousness after 5 days at the JN Medical College in Aligarh, where she gave a statement explicitly mentioning assault and the perpetrators’ name “Sandeep”. On 29th September she lost her battle with death and was forcibly cremated at 3 am by the police officials, when the family of the deceased was NOT present.

The catch? The perpetrators belonged to an upper-caste, the victim on the other hand was Dalit. In a country where we have a history of lower-caste or minorities facing race-based violence, the severity of this case was well understood.  While the mainstream media was busy with the Sushant Singh Rajput suicide case, the politics had already started their wicked game, and the media as well joined them in the sorority.

The majority of the news channels were reporting the story narrated in an almost similar fashion, there were some media houses that wanted to highlight the assault cases in Rajasthan and solely of Rajasthan. The reason – it has Congress (INC) based government, whereas, Uttar Pradesh has a BJP government.
The Journalism of favouritism took roots in this case when the only thing everyone wanted was less suffering to the family and justice for the 19-year-old Woman.

These media houses went as far as creating a conspiracy theory where upper-caste Hindus are being targeted, going as far as denying that any sexual assault took place and that the story was made up to harass the perpetrator belonging to the Thakur community.

As for now, the case is still under investigation by the CBI, who confirmed the Rape and Murder.

The second victim of Sushant Singh Rajput’s suicide case:- The infamous actor was found dead hanging from the ceiling fan at his home on 14th June 2020. While the ‘mental illness’ narrative was yet being investigated by the Mumbai Police, the father of the actor filed a case against the actress Rhea Chakraborty, who was Sushant’s girlfriend at the time. The fans and media were all set to demonize the girlfriend, right from the famous Bengali-black magic to drugging Sushant without him knowing. Some celebs came out dragging their share of prejudices (you know who), some ministers used this case for their political career (you know which party), some news anchors gave us good remixes on drugs (you also know this one).  Slowly and steadily NCB made a point, to atleast arrest and enquire everyone related to this case in the “Drug Narrative”. Marijuana was made the villain of the story.
The post-mortem report submitted by the AIIMS confirms that Sushant Singh Rajput has indeed died of asphyxia due to hanging.

This case showed the Journalism of fear, a type of Journalism, where some people sitting in their studios defame a personality with their agenda and fake news, affecting the way people of any country might choose to think.

The media houses could get away from broadcasting news regarding increasing unemployment, falling GDP, number of deaths of migrants during the pandemic. While the citizens got their daily dosage of drama, from the degrading standards of Indian Media and Journalism.

The Journalism of Fear favours anyone who is sitting in a high-power-position, allowing the person to act in illegal actions, without letting anyone know,
Journalism of Favour is no different from that, this type also enables powerful people to work according to their own will and not according to the will of the people.

The difference between “Journalism of Fear and Journalism of Favour” is that the former is out of Fear, without the willingness of the Journalists, whereas, the latter is out of the willingness of the Journalist to support any kind of irregularity.

Journalism acts as the fourth pillar of Democracy and having it crushed or partial to a wing will severely weaken the Roof of the Republic.

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