ELECTIONS 2019: INDIAN JOURNALISTS AND THE ART OF INTERVIEWING

NEWS

Regardless of which political party comes to power on May 23, the elections of 2019 will set a very dangerous precedent in the history of Indian politics.

This is probably the first time, media houses openly displayed bias and partisanship. What’s even worse – candidates were not seen on channels that are fundamentally opposite to their political ideology. For example, the centrists and the socialist leaders were not seen on channels favouring right wing agenda and Right wing leaders avoided critical media.

But is this is the right precedence?

A famous saying goes that ‘Synthesis occurs when thesis and anti-thesis collude.’ The real truth emerges only when both sides of the story are told. When a leader choses to be interviewed by a friendly media house and refuses to take supplementary questions he or she is doing a diservice to their voters.

By refusing to take on their adversies in the media, the scope for a healthy dialogue ends. An embarassing or a tough interview may be hurtful in the short run but politicians need to take criticism in their stride because with great power comes great responsibility and a responsiblity comes with accountability.

Plus this will force voters to doubt their leaders, if a leader can’t take on tough questions, is the leader really worth their vote?

Politics and elections are all about showmanship and rhetorics. While the politician will aim to ensure focus is on the two, it is a journalist’s duty to ensure, the focus is on facts and truth. The moment a journalist decides to play along with a politician and become his PR person, that is the end of journalism. Sadly Indian journalism in the recent past has witnessed a surge in editorial journalism. Taking open sides is not even unethical anymore. Running factual news is passe.

Viewers and voters need to understand, it is ok to be biased to your favourite leader, but it is important to be aware of who your leader is. If you let your neta take you for a ride, then the fault is in our stars.

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