Jour­nal­ism: A call­ing

Business Bhutan - - Editorial -

“I still be­lieve that if your aim is to change the world, jour­nal­ism is a more im­me­di­ate short-term weapon,” said Tom Stop­pard, a Czech-born British play­wright and screen­writer, knighted in 1997.

Jour­nal­ism, in this sense, is more than a job or an easy route to a pay­check. It is a call­ing. Ask those hun­dreds and thou­sands of jour­nal­ists around the world who strug­gle in dra­co­nian reg­i­mens and who wit­ness hu­man rights vi­o­la­tion of the sever­est kind on a reg­u­lar ba­sis.

In the face of dan­gers to their lives and safety, jour­nal­ists have been known to cru­sade for causes and change lives and sit­u­a­tions, some­times even the sys­tem.

This is hope for us: Bhutan, where the me­dia is a fledg­ling in­dus­try and bur­dened by all sorts of con­straints in­clud­ing fi­nan­cial pres­sures and free­dom is­sues, truth be told.

We might not have had cases of jour­nal­ists be­ing held ran­som, kid­napped or mur­dered but the me­dia health and vi­tal­ity re­main poor. Qual­ity jour­nal­ism is some­thing that we must strive for. With the exodus of se­nior ex­pe­ri­enced jour­nal­ists in re­cent times, the me­dia is lit­er­ally starv­ing for tal­ents.

How­ever, we must also give credit to the present young lot of jour­nal­ists who are fight­ing odds and work­ing hard to run news­rooms with lim­ited ca­pac­ity and re­sources.

In fact, recog­ni­tion of ex­cel­lence in jour­nal­ism with val­i­da­tion such as awards like the JAB an­nual jour­nal­ism awards held yes­ter­day can go a long way in en­cour­ag­ing jour­nal­ists to do bet­ter and not lose faith and will along the way.

At the end, if we want qual­ity jour­nal­ism, the jour­nal­ists must be both in­trin­si­cally as well as ex­trin­si­cally mo­ti­vated and that means rea­son­able, even good pay, con­ducive and pos­i­tive work­ing en­vi­ron­ments, sup­port and men­tor­ing from the veter­ans, pro­vi­sion of fa­cil­i­ties and non-in­ter­fer­ence from the man­age­ment.

Ad­di­tion­ally, jour­nal­ists must also be driven and pas­sion­ate about their work. They must not only be ide­al­ists and dream­ers but do­ers who dream to change the world into a bet­ter one.

This, they can start by start­ing with one­self: by be­ing grounded in the right val­ues, prin­ci­ples and ethics. Then this self-aware­ness and mo­ti­va­tion can move onto their work to shake moun­tains.

Be it broad­cast or print, jour­nal­ists are also in­trin­si­cally ac­tivists at heart. They may re­port the facts un­bi­as­edly but one can­not take away the ac­tivism from the jour­nal­ism. Be­cause jour­nal­ism is not only a job-it is a call­ing, a cause. And a wor­thy one at that. That is why it is so im­por­tant to treat it like one.

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