What does resignation of Republic TV scribe over reporting on Gauri’s murder say about media
New Delhi, Sep 8: The brutal murder of firebrand journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh at the entrance of her home in Bengaluru, Karnataka, on Tuesday evening, has clearly created a big fissure between various media houses over the question of who actually are responsible for her gruesome killing.
The two prominent theories being propagated in the mainstream media as well as on social media are: a) that the assassination of the editor of the popular Kannada tabloid, Gauri Lankesh Patrike, was the result of her stinging writing and activism against the rise of communalism and right-wing groups associated with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Karnataka and b) since Lankesh was a staunch leftist and closely worked with Naxals that resulted in bringing many to the mainstream have angered the banned left outfits.
On the one hand, the BJP and its ideological wing, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), have been allegedly held guilty of the crime, on the other it's the Naxals who are being blamed for Lankesh's murder.
Instead of waiting for the investigation to get over, many media outlets, especially television channels, have already jumped to conclusions about the "culprits" who could have orchestrated the assassination of the 55-year-old editor, known for her anti-establishment stand.
Along with fighting with each other over their respective stands in regard to the sensational murder case on social media, now several media houses are facing internal revolts over how to report the entire case that has jolted the soul of the nation.
On Wednesday evening, a journalist working for the newly started Republic TV channel, headed by controversial editor and anchor Arnab Goswami, resigned from her job alleging "biased" reporting on the murder of Lankesh by her "bosses".
After her resignation, Sumana Nandy took to social media to tell the world the reason behind her decision to quit her job. This is what she wrote on Facebook:
I have always been proud of the organisations I have worked with in my extremely small career in journalism. But today I am ashamed! An 'independent' news organisation is now batting for a rogue government. And openly so.
A journalist is murdered in cold blood days after receiving death threats from the BJP-RSS cadres. And instead of questioning these murderers, you question the opposition?
Where is the integrity? Where are we heading? Some 'journalists' are even celebrating the massacre (that she brought it on herself.) Well, yes! This is what happens in Saudi Arabia and North Korea. We are just a few more deaths away from catching up with these countries.
If the fourth pillar sells its soul, where will the society go?
We have failed you, ma'am. All I know, you are probably in a much much better place.
P.S.: For whatever it is worth and whatever significance it has, I have decided to not put Republic TV as one of my employers on my CV and on social media. I regret my association with this rogue organisation. #GauriLankesh
Many of her Facebook followers have appreciated her bold move to leave the television channel known to be close to the ruling BJP. Others lamented the fact that the whole media industry has become "corrupt and biased".
Nandy herself has raised the pertinent issue about media integrity in today's time, where journalists, especially editors, need to do some soul-searching to sanitise the fourth estate from all its "vices".
"If the fourth pillar sells its soul, where will the society go?" asked Nandy.
A journalist like Nandy is truly rare. The young scribe, who without thinking twice about her future, decided to leave her job to carry forward the basic "code of ethics" of journalism that teaches all to be honest, truthful and unbiased while reporting any story.
The female journalist's conduct becomes more noteworthy at a time when we have just lost one of the country's best editors Lankesh, who never feared speaking truth to power.