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Media responsibility

Journalism is regarded as the fourth pillar of democracy. But when journalists of standing get involved in scams like the Niira Radia tapes issue (“The cosy world behind the tapes,” Dec. 9 by Vidya Subrahmaniam), it is hardly surprising that journalists do not get the respect they deserve. That it has taken a mega scandal to expose the true colours of some journalists is indeed unfortunate.

Savithri Suresh,

Thrissur

* * *

That corporates have always lobbied at multiple levels is no secret. What has become evident now is that some journalists are only too willing to do their bidding. The Radia tapes exposing the nexus between the media and the corporate lobbyists are welcome because they have given an opportunity to all concerned to break the nexus. Some regulatory mechanism should be put in place to make journalism more objective.

Gnana. Surabhi Mani,

Madurai

* * *

The media are supposed to hold a mirror to society. A layman looks at them as a source of information and guidance. News as what we know is the factual representation of truth in its most appropriate manner. And thus we look up to one who provides us with news as genuine and unbiased.

With some of the big names in journalism getting involved in the Radia tapes episode, media credibility stands affected. Every time I switch on the television or read the newspaper, a question will pop up in my mind: Is it genuine? Is true journalism a thing of the past?

Tripti Powdel,

Chennai

* * *

Ms Subrahmaniam has drawn a true picture of the inappropriate conduct of the two journalists in their cosy interaction with Ms Radia. The Hindu, especially its Editor-in-Chief, should be commended for the series of articles on the issue and for his bold and unhesitant exhortation that no reputed international media institution in the developed world would have tolerated such conduct.

Kasim Sait,

Chennai

* * *

We have reached an alarming stage when we cannot rely on anything. Maybe I am being a little too pessimistic and negative but optimism fails me. The common man relies largely on the media for news. We trust what we see on television, read in the newspapers and hear on the radio. Alas, news seems to be dictated by other interests. Satyameva Jayathe, the famous phrase from Mundakopanishad, seems confined only to the Constitution.

R. Narayana Iyer,

Thiruvananthapuram

* * *

The Big Brother attitude of the electronic media is reflected in the way some TV anchors act — as spokespersons of the entire media. The news industry is not a homogeneous entity to warrant a one-size-fits-all approach to reforms. The electronic media are more vulnerable to corrupt practices, given their high visibility and accessibility. They cannot be allowed to set the agenda for media reforms.

Often, debates on television news channels descend into a display of cacophonous and shallow chatter. Some anchors give the impression that they have encyclopaedic knowledge of every topic under the sun. The electronic media need more stringent standards of accountability.

V.N. Mukundarajan,

Thiruvananthapuram

* * *

The Radia episode is a wake-up call to journalists in India and elsewhere. Those who were role-models till yesterday are now found defending their actions, much to the consternation of their followers. The unholy politicians-bureaucrats-corporates-journos nexus should be broken in order to bring the necessary transparency in governance. Much stronger self-regulation by the media is the need of the hour.

Viraj Deshpande,

New Delhi

* * *

Let me congratulate The Hindu on upholding the fine traditions of integrity and honesty in exposing the Radia tapes. The visual media have consistently skirted issues regarding the impropriety of their journalists hobnobbing with corporate lobbyists. People who saw journalists in the visual media as truth-seekers were in for a rude shock following the Radia tapes exposé. My parents always told me, “don't believe everything you see on 24x7 news channels.”

Sajith Sasidharan,

Thrissur

* * *

As tapes and scandals unveil, the self-styled judges at the television studios and at the bench with belligerent parliamentarians are seen dancing to corporate tunes. With every institution frantically snatching one another's wardrobe to hide the exposed, it is the common man who is left dumbstruck.

Anil Ambujakshan,

Thiruvananthapuram

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