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ENBA 2018: Journalists are supposed to be watchdogs and not lap dogs: Sanjay Jha, Indian National Congress

12-February-2018
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ENBA 2018: Journalists are supposed to be watchdogs and not lap dogs: Sanjay Jha, Indian National Congress

While speaking at the exchange4media News Broadcasting Awards (ENBA), Sanjay Jha, the national spokespersons of the Indian National Congress (INC), Alok Mehta , senior journalist and Raghav Chaddha of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) warned about the state of media in India and the dangerous consequences it could have. The session was chaired by Annurag Batra, Chairman & Editor in Chief Business World & exchange4media group. 
“What has unfortunately gotten wrong with the Indian media is that we are so driven by hashtags that are prepared even before the program starts. This reveals the mind of the editor and the channel,” said Jha. 

In one of those very rare moments, when INC and AAP shared similar views was while criticizing the Indian media.

“There are certain news channels that tow to a certain line that they themselves do not believe. In various news organisations, the line of a particular channel is not decided in the editorial room these days, it is decided in the boardroom of the owners of that news organisation,” said Raghav Chaddha.

“What Arun Shourie calls as North Korean channels are fighting between themselves....you were suppose to be a watch dog not a lap dog, that’s the sad part,” said Jha.

In fact, Chaddha seemed convinced by Jha’s comment and said many anchors these days have a tongue but they don’t have a spine.

“The first and basic advice is that anchors should let everyone speak. There are certain channels, certain anchors and shows on which you get absolutely no opportunity to speak because the whole idea is to suppress you point of view, to suppress your voice and to promote one narrative., said Chaddha .

“Previously everyone use to think of all politicians as thieves but now, they say that the media is sold out and that’s the view which is emerging among the masses and there is a serious need of course correction,” he added.

Chaddha pointed out that a number of news organisations do represent the public sentiment and the government line. "If you start representing the government line and not the public sentiment, you fail as a media organisation and I think previously everyone use to think of all politicians as thieves but now, they say that the media is sold out and that’s the view which is emerging among the masses. There is a serious need of course correction,” he said. 
“If you support a political party please do that, wear a badge on your shoulder but if you openly become communal that is very dangerous,” he further added.

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