Sunday, February 24, 2013

a journalist's confession....

I joined this profession with a starry eyed idealistic dream of "doing good".... that as a reporter, what i print will bring justice to people, that i will help someone somehow by putting their story out to the world... then i was told that emotion and ideals have no place and a reporter must be objective and report the 'truth'

the problem is, that there are truths aren't absolute, they're layered.. what is true in one context may be untrue from a different point of view.. trouble is that a view that WE put out then takes the place of 'accepted truth', and edges out what the other conceptions may have been...

it has been said always that history is written by the victor.. whoever holds the pen controls what is told to the world and therefore accepted as the 'truth'. but what if the "Truth" has many many more layers than the 'truth' does?

where does one draw the line between the 'official written word' and one's own misgivings?? a story that I have written today is something that i was questioning while i was writing it..i knew there had to be more sides to the story, that the court has taken a decision which might not be teh correct one, but My personal misgivings have no place in a newspaper.. so i tamped down on my misgivings because it was all there is Black and white with a judicial stamp on it... the story is not in the black and white, the story is in the multi hued spectrum that the black and white is made of... but i chose to write the black and white, ignoring the fact that even in a court of law, black and white are not the only colours...

the worst thing is, professionally and legally speaking, what i have written is correct. There is NO factual error in my story, whatever i have written is what a court of law has noted in its duly stamped judgment... there is no way anyone can fault me, professionally speaking, for the story that i have done.. maybe i could have dug a little more, made the story just a little bit more rounded, but it wasn't professionally wrong of me to go by what the court has ordered... court reporters don't always take the other side's opinion once the court pronounces its judgment.. once its in black and white, its there, till a different court overturns the judgment...

its my heart and my soul that KNOWS there is more to this story.. and that i should have tried to get that 'more' before mechanically going ahead and writing the story... that I am at fault for simply opting for the comfort of going by the 'official' word and ignoring the questions that my own conscience raised... there is someone who was exploited.. even if one type of exploitation was  not there, there are others which have now been dismissed... i could have written about those, but since the court dismissed everything, i didn't write it either... legally my choice of focus is correct, i make no apologies for writing the story that i did.. but morally, i should have found some way of writing what the court chose to dismiss..

to the person this judgment affects most directly.... I am sorry. I will try and put your side of the story out in the world too..

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