The news business is changing very rapidly and there are a host of factors contributing to this dynamic scenario. In these changing times, what is the fundamental core of objective journalism? How can we ensure accuracy in a race to be the best? What kind of training should be given to ensure greater quality?
One of the most respected names in the media fraternity, Rizwan Khan, international journalist and television host, threw light on the issues concerning the news broadcasting industry. Combined with a dynamic and highly engaging delivery, Khan is one of the most respected people on the global events circuit. From world leaders, business icons to film and music celebrities, Khan has led the field of international one-on-one interviews while hosting flagship news and current affairs shows at the world’s three major global news networks.
According to him, the advent of various digital formats and the growing acceptance of citizen journalism have changed the entire broadcasting industry. Social media platforms have redefined everything and news is breaking faster on channels such as Twitter and Facebook. News is no longer bound to the restrictions of appointment viewing. Information leaks out much earlier with internet and satellite phones. People can send pictures and information from anywhere. However, he believes that people have to be educated properly to filter information from the internet.
But even after so many changes in the industry, he still believes that the fundamental core of good journalism is sticking to the facts and reporting the stories objectively.
Every channel is in a race to inform instantly, where there are high chances of error. He believes that training across channels is eroding and lack of training is responsible for running information without checking.
“The pressure to get things done in a hurry risks a lot of errors. The channels have to stop thinking that they have to get something first, rather they should think about getting it right. When you get it right, people will automatically come to your channel,” Khan said. On the breaking news syndrome, he added, “I am shocked to see the urge to create a sense of drama and urgency than what the story has in order to get more ratings.”
He strongly believes that tabloid journalism is a dangerous route because of its lack of quality. But tabloid journalism is making its way into the electronic media, which is threatening.
Khan expressed his concern over the changing ideologies and the growing commercial nature of channels, where the credibility of a journalist is at risk. For how long will a journalist stick to the principles despite the commercial consideration? He also explained that good quality content will always attract advertisers.
According to him, ‘Foxisation’ of news is a big threat to journalism. He expressed that it is sad to see many channels chasing that model to gain more ratings.
Rizwan Khan was sharing his views during his special address at News Next 2014, organised by exchange4media in New Delhi on January 18. NewsX was the presenting sponsor of the event.