IIMC Dhenkanal observes Odia Journalism Day; ‘Truth and impartiality are major challenges for media’


Dhenkanal: Commenting on the current state of journalism, distinguished writer and columnist, Das Benhur said, “Two key facets of journalism are truth and objectivity. These two are integral to the concept of journalism. Earlier, balanced and accurate reporting was a priority for many publications. Truth and objectivity in the media are becoming hard to find. The upshot is that news is getting worse.”

The Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC), Dhenkanal and Akshara Foundation jointly commemorated ‘Odia Journalism Day’ by organizing an online discussion on 4th August 2022. Speaking at the event an honoured speaker, Dash Benhur remarked, “In the past, newspapers just offered news. Its goal was to report, not to throw punches and punchlines. It was a time when newspaper journalists were not giving out opinions to steer the masses. There was just unbiased factual reporting, devoid of any personal remark on any particular incident or development. But times have changed recently. In practically all media outlets today, opinions, comments, and reviews have supplanted true news. Everyone in the media is impacted. We provide news as well as our own opinions. There’s irony in this.” He further went on to add, “Many people do not know the language used in the media. So, opinions, statements or comments, etc., in the news, therefore, run the danger of being misinterpreted and might even cause an adverse outcome. Many news articles use inappropriate language and provide inaccurate information. The press has to be aware of this. Benhur strongly argued throughout his discussions for the media to adhere to its ethical obligations and get the foundations correct. Additionally, he promoted journalist safety and security, stating that journalists must use caution while at risk and that he was interested in assisting journalists.

The editor of OTV, Radhamadhav Mishra, who joined the discussion as a speaker, noted that the usage of English and Hindi in spoken language has increased since the advent of television. The significance of the word Odia began to erode over time. And more errors are being noticed now that digital media has emerged. The next generation of journalists must be knowledgeable about writing conventions and the use of the Odia language in such a setting. “One should read more books, novels, etc., every day. Knowledge of varied local, national, and worldwide news is essential, as is the core curriculum. It is true that many media outlets increasingly prioritize certain news over actual news. Every media outlet ought to have a discussion on this issue. Fixing the length of the news, or what to write and how much to write – a much-needed discussion on media’s philosophical and professional axis. I hope this muddle in journalism won’t linger too long,” Mishra said in his conclusion.

Prof. (Dr.) Mrinal Chatterjee, Regional Director of IIMC, Dhenkanal said, “Up until a certain point, intriguing or appealing news is fine. But airing the same item nonstop for a whole 24 hours is a little unbecoming. In other words, the media shouldn’t just claim that they provide the news the way the public wants to hear it. Rather, the media itself needs to commit to some amount of introspection. We must ascertain what people’s true needs are. Not only is this the situation of the Odia media, but it is also very much the same across all of India. Media managers, particularly those who choose the material, have a crucial role to play in this. Journalism would suffer if the media were exposed as being used to grab power and prioritize profits. Instead, we should consider what the media’s alternative funding model will be. The most well-known journalists in the nation today have started their own web publications with a subscription model and are publishing informative content. In a similar vein, corpus funds can also be another source of income,” concluded Prof. Chatterjee.

On this occasion, the book of abstracts of the upcoming monograph by IIMC Dhenkanal titled ‘Language, Culture and Identity,’ was unveiled. A sum total of 36 educators and scholars from all throughout the nation contributed papers and articles to it. The book will shortly be released, according to Prof. Chatterjee.

Dr. Jyoti Prakash Mohapatra, a corporate communication specialist, gave the welcoming address and oversaw the event. A vote of thanks was delivered by IIMC academic assistant, Soumya Ranjan Bihara. Lecturers, researchers and students from different parts of the country participated in this online discussion.

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