Looking at the news nowadays is a self-defeating exercise - it feels like the entire country's gone crazy and everyone's lost sight of the real issues. News channels employ immense pressure on journalists to obtain any piece of information, and then blow it up as if it's some kind of massive revelation to gain TRPs. Just look at the Rhea case for example - the NCB arrested her for possession of minor quantities of cannabis, which is usually handled by beat cops and invites just a fine.
However, all hope is not lost, as there are a few journalists who are standing up to the system and revealing just how twisted its machinations are. Most recently, Republic reporter Shantasree Sarkar announced her resignation, and posted a revelatory thread on Twitter.
I am finally putting out on social media. I have quit #RepublicTV for ethical reasons. I am still under notice period but I just can't resist today to throw light upon the aggressive agenda being run by #RepublicTV to vilify #RheaChakraborty . High time I speak out!— Shantasree Sarkar (@sarkarshanta) September 8, 2020
I was asked to investigate on financial angle in the case, the account details of #Rhea father was accessed, which didn't get remotely linked to the agenda of siphoning of #sushant money for their two flats. Ofcourse, this also didn't suit the agenda!— Shantasree Sarkar (@sarkarshanta) September 8, 2020
As I was dealing with trauma of how wrong this story is getting reported and how a woman is shamed publically, I was punished for not bringing out biased stories by making me work round the clock as a punishment. I worked for 72 hours straight without rest.— Shantasree Sarkar (@sarkarshanta) September 8, 2020
Whoever is a hardcore #SSR fan, must remember, consuming drugs with her bf isn't the charge, labelled by the family. It's murder & siphoning of funds, which are still being investigated. Being a bengali & a woman, I feel ashamed that this country has lost its tolerance for truth!— Shantasree Sarkar (@sarkarshanta) September 8, 2020
While she faced the usual and expected barrage of insults and accusations of being paid off, there was also a lot of support. A decision to quit your job on a moral basis is not easy to come to, and it's encouraging that there are people out there with the strength to do it.
Well done— vikas (@vikaspec) September 9, 2020
More power to you.— Sudhir did what again (@HereWeGoBoiss) September 9, 2020
Well done mam. It's need courage, to go to such an extent.— सचिन कन्नौजिया (@KanojiyaSachin) September 9, 2020
I remember in an interview with Ankit acharya(Sushant's caretaker) he said that he is from Kolkata and he believed that girls from Kolkata perform black magic. you told him you are from Kolkata too and there are no such things. Kudos to you. #RepublicTV is for spineless people.— Taniya Sanyal (@TaniyaSanyal7) September 9, 2020
There's no denying there's a deep rot in Indian media, made ever worse by the involvement of political players stoking the flames for their own gains, as well as channels themselves using any means necessary to raise TRPs.
Everywhere you look, there's deafening noise, but nothing of substance actually being said. They throw around their own assumptions of certain text exchanges as facts, they attribute ridiculous acronyms to general conversations (Imma bounce, for example), and demonise anyone who stands against them
A few days ago, Republic TV's Jammu Bureau Chief Tejinder Singh Sodhi stepped down, citing Arnab's abusive behaviour and a toxic and negative workplace where they were asked to carry out metaphorical hit jobs on their 'enemies' - basically the Left.
Someday someone had to speak, why wait for that someone, why that someone can't be me.— Tejinder Singh Sodhi 🇮🇳 (@TejinderSsodhi) September 6, 2020
"This was not the Journalism that I had joined Republic for, reporters were being used to do the hit job on behalf of Arnab"
Read for more https://t.co/TEXLKu4gAq
The state of Indian news is currently in uncharted waters, and there's a lot of uncertainty about what this new wave of morally bereft, ethically compromised reporting will do to the country. The need of the hour is to fight against dangerous media that can incite mobs against individuals.
Even though it might be late in the game, there's a still a feeling of gladness in regards to people speaking up against the tyranny of many news channels nowadays. Considering the kind of abuse and blowback those who speak up face, we have to admire their courage.
In the midst of the bedlam, we truly need more people like this to stand up, and we as a people need to unite against voices spreading misinformation and hate in an obsessive race to be at the top.