Because following ethics in journalism is too mainstream!

16/12/2012 had shaken the entire nation, tremors of which are still felt in our hearts. I remember feeling a pinch in mine when a certain Assamese News Channel (I don’t remember which one. They all look the same to me) carried a news piece along the lines of: Woman misbehaved in a moving bus by the bus conductor in Guwahati. The said woman gave her interview trying hard to mask her glee with a straight face in front of the camera. The news channel probably thought things happening in a moving bus would fetch them TRPs because you know, 16/12/2012 was a hit. I had thought to myself then, Journalism can’t get lower than this. What a fool I was!

Few days back, the Pratidin Times News Channel took it on their own capable hands (and microphones and cameras) to teach all of us a lesson or two in “Assamese Culture”. For the ignorant Assamese beings, here is the summary:

  • Amar Axomiya Sobhyota (Our Assamese Culture)” says it is okay to compare women with apes where apes, by the way, are on a higher pedestal than we mere girls on degrees of axomiya sobhyota.
  • Amar Axomiya Sobhyota” teaches that wearing shorts in summer is a big fat no because this sobhyo xomaj (cultured society) consists of “ami axomiya deka lora. Ami tu bhori kita samei (because raging hormones). Pisot amak gaali pari laabh nai” {“we are Assamese young boys. We would obviously Lech at the legs if they show. There is no point in accusing us}. And oh yes, leering at a woman’s derriere is so part of our culture.
  • Amar Axomiya Sobhyota” rules that “kishoris” cannot wear shorts but Deka lora’s can roam around the city in half pants revealing half of their butt cheeks and ganjee. Because, obviously, logic is so not part of our culture.
  •  Axomiya sobhyota” doesn’t allow us to wear shorts or knee length dresses but it allows journalists to shoot girls’ posterior without their consent and shaming them because they chose comfort over so-called-culture.

 

Thank you Pratidin Times for working so hard to remind us that the helm of Assamese Culture lies in the length of our clothes. Perhaps in your pursuit to teach us a lesson or two in Assamese Culture, you conveniently forgot to take a lesson or two in Ethics of Journalism. Ethics? What’s that? You ask. And i say it’s something you learn in Schools of Journalism so that you do not confuse objective reporting with objectifying girls in your report.

You knew you would be stirring up a hornet’s nest with your report but you continued because caring about ethics and objective reporting is so passé when you would be garnering tonnes of TRPs, right? And guess what, you did a good job. People are talking about you (including me) and how!