News Karnataka
Tuesday, April 23 2024

Journalism without ethics; in the world of Kevin Carter!

Sumayya Column 02102021
Photo Credit :

“Kevin Carter” – a Pulitzer won photojournalist captured the Famine in Sudan through his photography, “ The struggling girl” in 1993. The picture of a toddler crawling towards food centre and from a distance, an eagle hatching a plan to make a toddler its prey brought Carter Pulitzer prize .

Carter was caught between professional and humanitarian conflict. He was surrounded by securities with clear instruction on not to aid the refugees nor interact them. Looking at the toddler and the eagle, the only act Carter could succeed to do was click the picture and hush away the bird. The photography which brought him name and fame stood as the foundation stone for his devastated state of mind and helplessness. Along with many other personal issues, the atrocities , hunger and executions witnessed snatched Carter his confidence to face the society and within 2 months of receiving award Carter took away his own life.

A similar but contradictory event happened in past few days in the State of Assam. Post NRC, CAA chaos, the State of Assam is again in news from for its inhuman “Eviction drive programme”.  Demonic role portrayed by the representative of most important pillar of our democracy shook the world. A government-recruited photojournalist jumping on the dead body during the drive picturised the faded humanity while upholding the  brutal sadistic aggression. The soul of Kevin Carter would twirl witnessing the deed performed by the photojournalist.

A Genocide once heard in far Germany is now witnessed in our own backyard. But when representation and support to such act is given by the responsible representatives, there arouses a question on the basis of ones Ethics & Education!

Journalism is one such professions in India, which can be practiced without possessing a particular degree in journalism . A good oratory skill, and writing skill are certain basic traits which is expected from a budding journalist, to keep it simple , a skill-based profession.

A doctor treats sick rather than the engineer because of the qualification the person holds. When it is impossible for a lawyer to treat the sick and doctors to construct the house, in the times of diluting humanity, it is quite difficult to expect a graduate in general subjects to follow media ethics. If someone is found drowning in the water, the first question a reporter is found questioning the victim is “How are you feeling?”. TRP and the craze for breaking news is prioritised over the life of individual. Moreover the question is also on the rationality of the professional. All thanks to vulnerable academic training and lack of existence of compulsory qualification in order to practice this profession.

Taking leninacy under the exceptions provided under Article 16 of the Constitution, the state should initiate a technical qualification in the employment. Considering the influence, impact and significance of the profession, there is a need of a sensitive law which standardises the professional qualification for the practice of the profession. With prescribed qualification and strengthening the existing academic structure, culmination of lost humanity and rational behaviour is possible.

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Sumayya Parveen A.

Sumayya is a Journalism, Eng. Literature and History Graduate & IAS Aspirant. She is also a budding writer and poetess.

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