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06 Jan 2018

NewsBytes on TheQuint: How low will journalism stoop down?

What, exactly, is news?

In an era of 'infobesity', where every organization feeds you with content/news, the pertinent question is - what is news?

They say, "What you see is news, what you know is background, what you feel is opinion." Is the media doing the job of demarcation right?

As predictions go, 2018 will be content's perfect storm moment. But, Quint caused the tsunami yesterday itself. We elaborate, stay with us.

In context

What, exactly, is news?
Please be quiet, democracy is sleeping! And, so is media

The fourth estate

Please be quiet, democracy is sleeping! And, so is media

In 2016, when Trump was elected as the President, some would argue that democracy saw its end.

That democracy is sleeping is not new, neither is the fact that the three pillars of Indian democracy are chained. But, what is the fourth pillar, the media, doing?

Anyone who has a voice, intent and a laptop becomes the fourth pillar. However, it comes with a lot of responsibility.

Beginning of the end

What happened to media, you'd ask?

"Death hi ho gayi", that's what happened to media. Lies, misconceptions, heavily-biased opinions, click-baity articles, the race to report it first, lack of talent and the complete disregard of truth - that's what happened.

And, then came the new-age media houses: the transition from newspapers, TV to web-pages. For them, it was simple to fabricate lies as 'retracting from web' is always an option.

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But, what's the point? Why are we talking about it?


But, what's the point? Why are we talking about it?

For starters, let's talk about the now-retracted 'The Quint' article about Kulbhushan Jadhav.

While Indians are praying for him, his family is getting insulted by Pakistan, and the government of India (rather failingly) is trying to rescue him, Quint and Co. are busy calling him 'spy'.

But, they won't get into the details about these 'alleged' sources of R&AW.

Using 'reportedly' exonerates them.


A brief about the case of Kulbhushan Jadhav

As per Pakistan, Jadhav is a R&AW agent. A Lieutenant Colonel in the Indian Navy, he is said to have sought retirement in 2013.

In March'16, Jadhav was arrested by Pakistan on charges of espionage and festering terrorism in Balochistan.

It then sentenced him to death, but the order was stayed by the International Court of Justice.

What exactly did Quint write about Jadhav?

The long and short of it is: The Quint spoke on behalf of Pakistan. They called him a 'spy', a failed one at that. Their 'sources' told them that "Jadhav's undoing was based on his unprofessionalism and partly because he was not a career spy." Bravo!

This lying has to stop, it has to stop now

Government of India

This lying has to stop, it has to stop now

There are only 3 scenarios - a) This story is false b) It is true c) The writer was smoking some serious stuff.

In the first case, the government should set the precedent right by curbing false news.

In the second, they should be booked under Official Secret Act.

In the third, this writer doesn't know the appropriate IPC Section.

Dear Government of India, we are banking on you.

Tell you what?

But, dear reader, what should you and I do?

We can't stop fake news, even President Trump can't. But, we can arm ourselves with knowledge. We can read, discuss, and figure out ways to separate signal from noise.

What we should not do is - let's not call them anti-national, because then we already lose the fight to the pseudo-intellectuals.

We are the social media, the authorities can't ignore us, any further.

But, why add 'The' to your name?

As a side-note, the fact that they call themselves 'The' Quint tells you that they are holier-than-thou, in their heads. Even Facebook got rid of the 'The.'

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