Once upon a time, many years ago, I wanted to become a journalist. I had made up my mind that I was going to write in the newspapers, hobnob with my favourite sportspersons (read: Aussie cricketers), watch cricket and get paid for it. Then reality hit me and I decided on psychology instead. So far, I have not regretted my choice. In fact, when I see the manner of journalism these days, I am glad I changed my mind. I would not have survived a single day on the job.
Well, these are my observations based on how the media presents on television and in the papers:
Scaremongering — I am astounded by how much journalists dramatise things these days. It’s one thing to inform people about calamities, but it’s another to catatrophise on air or in public and spread mass panic! For instance, take the Big bang re-experiment. Thanks to the media, the world was going to come to an end. Thanks to them, some girl in India committed suicide. Thanks to them, I have anxious clients saying they were counting down and waiting nervously for the world to end…
Biased views — I thought journalists were supposed to provide information as is. In other words, I was under the impression they would not take sides and let the masses come to a conclusion themselves. In fact, I thought taking sides was a form of “yellow journalism”. Well, things have changed. I noticed in India journalists being blatantly biased when it came to cricket (considering I didn’t read or watch much else). For instance, Indians swearing was no problem but Aussies doing the same was equivalent to the crime of the century. Anyway, it’s not just Indian journalists guilty of this crime. Here in Australia, Karl Stefanovic showed his colours recently when he was outraged at Kevin Rudd’s tax reforms…because he was losing out on some things himself.
Investigative journalism in my opinion has hit a new low with shows like ‘A Current Affair’ and ‘Today Tonight’. For the uninformed, these are shows where they talk about ‘real people’ and ‘investigate’ claims where people are either taken for a ride or ‘investigate’ the new fashion and slimming products. One word to label these shows: bullshit. And why did it hit a new low? Well, some months ago, ACA conducted an ‘in-depth interview’ with a wife (or ex-wife…I forget) of an underworld don. And they had her strutting around in a bikini. I’m sorry, but that’s NOT journalism.
These are just some of the issues that make me thank my stars I decided not to pursue this field. Of course, I will admit it was never on my mind when I decided against this field…I just didn’t think I could do weird hours and speak in public to strangers! I’m too much of an introvert for the latter and love my sleep too damn much for the former!
Until next time,