For the past four months the world has been constantly fighting with covid 19. Adding further despair, anguish and pain to our lives is the death of a young and aspiring journalist Tarun Sisodia. The recent death experienced in the capital city is an utter shame on the Media Industry, Tarun who is now survived by his two little daughters and a wife was a victim of Corona for the recent past and undergoing treatment at the All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS), but fate had some other plans for him. He leapt to his death from the fourth floor of the very hospital he was supposed to walk out after recovering from the deadly virus. Those who know Tarun personally can assure you that he was an upbeat journalist always thriving for excellence. Despite being a victim of Corona, he was always optimistic and also advised the same for the family members sticking around during the tough time. Embracing the death of a fearless young journalist such as him raises some serious red flags. Tarun’s death vocalizes the black truth that this glory hunting media industry is surrounded by. Death of such an ambitious young member highlights the flagitious ways in which the powerful bosses handle the news channels and newspapers from their luxurious high-rise buildings. Those very same people with power in the industry have turned a deaf ear to the question of the hour “Was it a death or a murder?”
Most journalists placed in an office of authority show a concern about the affairs worldwide, but in all fairness they have a different true side to themselves. Positioned in their air conditioned offices and wrapped in expensive suits, they are only concerned about their personal interests and not about the junior executives working on ground zero. The harsh reality here is that all the junior executives and interns are not granted their due recognition as the senior members love stealing the credit from the premises of their offices. The journalists working at ground zero have to face all sorts of conditions and barriers to supply the world with the engrossing news material. It is due to this very reason that fellow companions after the death of Tarun have initiated a campaign on social media to deposit money into his wife’s account to cover their necessary expenditures for the near future.
The Irony here is that junior journalists, who raise concerns regarding all sorts of crimes and scams in the country themselves continue to be victims of exploitation at all levels in their own fraternity. The desire to be famous and appear on the TV screen leads these ordinary hardworking journalists to a false world where the members in powerful position appear later on to haunt them. In a desire to fulfill their dreams, a person can become blind losing the cognizance of differentiating right from wrong. Tales of exploitation begin early on in the life of prospective journalists from their college days. Getting a job and entering the industry is a big dream for every aspiring journalist. After perusing a degree in a private college by investing lakhs of rupees as their tution fees, when a prospective student enters the field of journalism they are offered a meagre salary, not even enough to cover the daily expenses. The graded editors who give lectures on morality and equality to the world hire these young minds as their interns to work for free by making them false promises of a satisfactory job later on. Many a times where the interns have objected to a certain line of work or put in their personal thought process ahead of their superiors have face the axe. It is a going trend now that channel owners and administration hires a senior executive who can be their sole commander instead of hiring a team of 50 people, saving them costs on a larger scale. There have been times where for the sake of getting a job or a hike in their salary, the young aspiring journalist decide against narrating the harsh reality and their own personal pain throughout their life. A journalist in this country is always on the job 24×7 in fact they are also forced to work on auspicious festivals like Diwali, Holi, Eid when rest of the world is rejoicing.Many of them have been called in to work on the day of their very own wedding. As for Tarun he was also forced by his senior to work on a story from the hospital itself, despite fighting against corona. In a WhatsApp group of journalists, Tarun had even mentioned about him being murdered in the near future.
It has long been seen that high ranked and intellectual editors look for their own benefit and ignore the ambitious young junior journalists by taking away their chances for a strike at the demanding lead stories. They want their name or face behind every breaking news and story. Especially in today’s era, the work of most of young journalists has been limited to collecting bytes.Channels are programmed for showing their numbered pretty faces. The story behind this is also very interesting and engrossing. Under the pressure of the government and politics these so called senior journalists and editors know which news to favour and which news to omit/ to keep away from limelight. The situation is pretty much the same in all well known news channels or newspaper offices. News piece with a motive and ideas are being suppressed by the high ranked editors, as it is lucrative for them to keep a specific news away from the spotlight. Exploitation is not just specified to few journalists in media institutions but it is at every level. Wherever you put your hands in, it will come out stained such is the situation.
Journalism is tainted with some major flaws which no one wants to talk about. Exploitation is not just limited to media institutions but is available at every step in the industry. The journalists who are trying to showcase the bitter reality of media,politics and bollywood industry are themselves corrupt from within acting as puppets for people with power and pointing fingers at what they are asked to.
BY: Shivang Mathur- Senior Journalist and prolific media buff
Disclaimer – This is a writer’s personal view, newspatrolling doesn’t take any responsibility against his/her view and claims