Republic TV Editor Arnab Goswami(Let us defend the scribe in Arnab but not his diatribe) has courted a barrage of criticism for going overboard in his coverage of Palghar mob lynching case. The abrasive, over the top TV anchor, is accused of fomenting hate by giving a communal tinge to the incident. Arnab fired a salvo at Congress President Sonia Gandhi for her reticence on the incident and even indicted her for orchestrating the heinous attack.
Matters came to a head when the anchor is known for interpreting news(Let us defend the scribe in Arnab but not his diatribe) stories from his cultured prism of prejudice, claimed the Congress chief has despatched updates on the incident to Italy, the nation of her extraction.
What ensued was a volley of FIRs filed by Congress leaders purportedly at the behest of the party high command. Two Congress Chief Ministers– Ashok Gehlot and Bhupesh Baghel did not shy away from condemning Arnab’s(Let us defend the scribe in Arnab but not his diatribe) posturing in the garb of journalism.
The victim- Arnab(Let us defend the scribe in Arnab but not his diatribe) has lodged a case with a police station in Mumbai, alleging his car was attacked by unidentified assailants in one of the city’s parking lots.
For now, the Supreme Court has offered three weeks of protection to Arnab from coercive action by the police. While the legal tangle may get knottier in the days to come, the situation has flagged some pertinent questions on freedom of the press and how one treats it. Is autonomy of the press unfettered?
Can a prime time news anchor seize the liberty to launch a vilification campaign against someone just because her political leanings do not align with the journalist’s or the party’s agenda that he peddles? Aren’t journalists supposed to report without a shred of bias?
There is a consensus that no scribe should be the victim of a malicious attack– verbal or non-verbal. Press freedom is sacrilegious. It transcends all ideologies. But freedom has its own inbuilt chains.
Any journalist is free to report from his perspective though he should always desist from heaping personal slanders. Journalism is not the offspring of a reciprocal relationship. It is independent and will continue to be so.
All interests– personal or impersonal are subservient to its cause. Arnab(Let us defend the scribe in Arnab but not his diatribe) cannot be the host and chief guest in his own show. Nor can he wear the robe of a propagandist.
Stifling others’ opinions is not the epitome of good journalism. Dissent is the safety valve of democracy of which journalism is such a crucial component.
The sooner Arnab warms up to this truth; the better it is for his longevity in the vocation. Is he open to letting in this air of change? The nation wants to know; and is waiting.