A journalist was allegedly burnt alive in Uttar Pradesh for bringing in the open reports about illegal mining and land grabbing by a Samajwadi Party minister in the state. The journalist died later. A few days later, another journalist in the same state was also beaten up and dragged by a car for posting stories that didn't go down well with the accused. [UP: Journalist burnt alive over Facebook post against SP MLA, case filed]
The news took a lot of days to appear in the public domain
Worse, the first attack took place on June 1 but it took more than a week for the news to appear in the public domain. The social media played an important role to play up the report but not many in the mainstream media really thought it was worthy to pursue the tragic case.
If India's WC semifinal loss was a 'national humiliation', attacks on honest journalists are not?
Why was Jagendra Singh, the ill-fated journalist, was treated with apathy by leading faces of his own fraternity? If India's loss in the World Cup semifinal could be seen as a national humiliation, why not such attacks on the watchdogs of its celebrated democracy?
Not politics but class explain the plight of these journalists
It is not that no high-decibel debate was dedicated to Singh because he wasn't known to be a journalist with a particular political leaning or that his attackers were not from any particular political camp. He was conveniently overlooked just because he did not belong to the elite class of celeb journalists who otherwise have some opinion or the other on every issue under the sun.
If an honest IAS officer can make the headlines, why not an honest journalist?
The class difference in the 'highly regarded' profession of journalism in India came to the fore with Singh's death. In the past, we have seen how the national media went all out after the ruling elite in Uttar Pradesh when an honest IAS officer was targetted. But when an honest police officer or a journalist get killed in the state for allegedly creating discomfort for the political class, not many in the elite media feel any urgency to speak about them.
It is also a gender bias?
Why? Because the elite media feels more encouraged to back a particular gender because it helps its TRP business? The more you speak about women in distress, the more the sympathy will be in their and ultimately your favour.
The media loved passing verdict on Tarun Tejpal but ignored Jagendra or Haider
The middle-class's values have taught the businessmen (of which the media is also a part) to market women's plight perfectly, irrespective of the fact that the ground reality hasn't changed much when it comes to our sexist mindset.
No heated debate on attacks on scribes?
But when Jagendra Singhs die a sorry death or Haider is beaten up for doing his job, the same media finds no urgency to speak up. It is because neither Singh was a woman and nor he had any big tag to display. He was just an ordinary journalist who couldn't suppress the call of honesty and went ahead to expose the wrongdoing.
He remained faceless and was ultimately denied the basic right to life. What a shocking tribute to the 'noble' profession of journalism.
The fatigue in our journalism
Journalism in this country has been reduced to a few faces today, who generate nothing more than a fatigue. There is no foolproof system in place to discover new talents in this profession for the foot soldiers remain lost forever under the top-heavy structures.
If there is no system in place to encourage people like Jagendra or Haider and they are sacrificed for honesty, the fourth pillar of the world's largest democracy will be facing the crisis of its life and we may not surmount that blow ever.