Try to Bridge the Gap Between the Decision-Maker and Common People - Prachi Ghosh

Journalism, in simple words, means, to inform the public with facts and help them in making a rational and sound decision. But the sad reality is, Indian news channels do not believe in this. 

1. Tell us about your background and journey.

My name is Prachi Ghosh. I’m from Rourkela, Odisha. I’m twenty-two years old. I did my graduation in English Honors from Government Autonomous College, Rourkela and am currently pursuing postgraduation in Journalism from Indian Institute of Journalism and New Media.

2. What is your opinion about press freedom in India?

Let me correct you right there. There is freedom of speech in India, for the people of India but no press freedom to journalists. Unlike the United States of America, there is no special provision made for journalists that protects them.

Article 19 (1) (a) of the Constitution guarantees the people of India with freedom of speech and expression but it has some rules and regulations which also prohibits some information from getting published. We have seen cases in which journalists who try to bring out the truth gets killed without any further investigation held.

3. Who is your favourite journalist and why?

I appreciate the works of Karan Thapar, a journalist who has worked with CNN-IBN and India Today and now works with The Wire. His interview with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2007 is my favourite where his questions make the latter leave it in between.

I had never seen Modi refuse any question that ever came his way. But this particular interview actually made me realise what a journalist can do. How a journalist can shake up a prominent person like Modi.  

4. What do you think about the quality of journalism in India and how can it be improved?

The mainstream media house is simply ‘trash.’ Journalism, in simple words, means, to inform the public with facts and help them in making a rational and sound decision. But the sad reality is Indian news channels do not believe in this. They do not ever care about informing the public of the truth.

The only thing they produce is unnecessary news and drama. We do not even see a debate that is held humanely. The guest shout, the anchor shouts, and all that is produced is ‘noise pollution.’

The entire coastal Odisha was drowning in flood with loss of lives and property as well as crops, but the TV news channel was only interested in broadcasting Sushant Singh Rajput’s murder case which is yet to be confirmed. Is this journalism? He is already dead, and we want justice for him but not at the cost of ‘not informing’ people what else is going on in the world.

On the contrary, newspapers and multimedia journalists are informing the world about things going on in the world other than Sushant Singh Rajput’s murder mystery. If you switch on a news channel the only thing we see is about Sushant Singh Rajput, Rhea Chakraborty and Kangana Ranaut.

But the newspaper really prioritises the news for the readers. There is an ongoing standoff between India and China, reinfection cases are coming up in southern parts of India. But TV news channels only broadcast the SSR case.

In my opinion, if a law is made regarding the protection of journalists and reporters and making sure that no political party owns any media house, then there is a chance that we can hope for some improvement.

5. What is your message to all aspiring journalists?

I am an aspiring journalist. So that makes me the person who needs a message not the other way around. But I would take this opportunity to say one thing that we as trainee journalists are trained to make the world a better place, to bridge the gap between the decision-maker and common people.

Our only job is to present facts to the general public without any bias. We should keep trying doing so because in this age of fake news and rumours getting more attention, we need to pull our socks.

6. If you could interview one famous person, who would that be and why?

I really want to interview Nirmala Sitharaman, Finance Minister of India. I really want to know if she knows anything about Economics, Finance and if she really eats onion. Covid-19 is an Act of God. Economy collapsing is also an Act of God.

I really don’t understand why she is even the Finance Minister of India. Since her denial of being accountable for the rising price of onions in the country last year, and her reaction towards the contraction of GDP in the first quarter of 2020, she has lost everybody’s faith on being a Finance Minister.

7. Which is your favourite book and why?

The last book that I read was Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie and I really liked it. The novel features one of Agatha Christie’s innovation, the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot. This has been adapted to a number of movies, tv shows and radio shows.

Poirot is a detective who sees things either as white or black. But the murder that took place in the Orient Express makes him realise that there are shades of grey in every case and there is justice beyond the law.

If anyone comes to me asking for a murder mystery novel, I recommend this. It is a classic and the way Christie plays with words is an absolute pleasure.

Interview By - Sonam

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