Today: Jun 19, 2024

The pathetic trend of ‘Ground Zero Journalism’ by unprofessional, self-styled journalists

3 mins read

By: Fazil Shafi Bhat

Journalism is not just a profession but a form of worship in the sense that an experienced and righteous journalist fulfills their professional duty in the best possible way. It is also considered a pillar of democracy. In India, the credit for the beginning of Urdu journalism goes to Maulvi Mohammad BaqirDehlavi, who was the first journalist to be martyred duringthe freedom movement.

With the advent of the internet, online journalism or digital journalism has emerged rapidly as another facet of the field of journalism. It is an area where institutional content is distributed over the internet through various online platforms. The benefit of this new medium of journalism is that dissemination, which was once considered an extremely expensive task, can now be easily achieved far and wide at a very low cost.

Information previously available only through newspapers, magazines, radio and television can now be delivered quickly and more conveniently to people through digital platforms.

With the arrival of the internet in Jammu and Kashmir, digital journalism gradually became a part of journalism ecosystem and quickly became a means of employment for many unemployed young boys and girls. Internet has transformed the profession of journalism to an unbelievable degree, and it would not be wrong to say that it has grafted colourful branches onto the sturdy tree of journalism.

While the positives of this trend are certainly many, tis rally also gave birth to countless self-made journalists who have misused the internet by showing no regard for journalistic ethics as well as professional standards.

These self-made journalists have taken over online journalism, setting aside the importance and usefulness of the great profession of journalism. They possess the skill of blowing up an ordinary news item to an extraordinary level. It has also been observed at times that the news reported by these self-made journalists lacks any truth, onlyadding lot of hype in its promotion.

In the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, many great journalists have even sacrificed their lives to uphold the standards of journalism. Unfortunately, today, journalism holds no value or respect, thanks to these self-made journalists who do not have much knowledge about the field. However, they are engaged in promoting their channels by shouting into a microphone, throwing private marital issues on Facebook, and even making videos that lack basic ethics.

Incorporating people’s sorrows and pains into their news or reports, making a fuss over the death of a cat, calling an ambush a snag, and calling a clash an uprising clearly demonstrates the ability, or inability, of online journalists. They are only camouflaging the things. They do not refrain from their antics even during a funeral, holding a microphone and shouting loudly where a father is shouldering his son’s body with tearful eyes.

Here, ground zero journalism or reporting has become the most ridiculous spectacle. Although it is a well-known field in journalism, the job of these self-made journalists associated with this field is to rush towards any news with lightning speed as soon as they receive it. As soon as they get the news, these people are seen running as if termites have swarmed, and they are dispersing to strike.

In fact, the main purpose of ground zero journalism is to get as many views as possible so that their channels on Facebook or YouTube can gain popularity quickly, and they can succeed in gaining more followers and earning money in a short period. Ground zero journalists do not care about anyone’s pain or sorrow; they have no sympathy for a helpless father or concern if someone loses their son. They are only bothered about getting views and can go to any extent to get as many viewers as possible.

On Facebook and YouTube, there is a riot of ground zero journalists. The same words are heard repeatedly everywhere: “Comment, like, and share this video as much as possible.”

Whether the video is of someone’s funeral, a helpless woman’s cry, or someone’s private domestic issues, these unprofessional ground zero journalists are pushing society into a quagmire from which it is difficult to escape. Due to this trend, most people have lost their trust in journalism these days.

However, there is still no shortage of people in our society who leave no stone unturned in promoting these ground zero journalists. By following them and spreading their videos like wildfire, many people like us are complicit as our society is becoming increasingly affected by the rise such trends, which urgently needs to be stopped. If this chaotic online or baseless ground zero journalism is not stopped, the time is not far when every household will give birth to a self-made journalist who will wander over the streets with a microphone, crying and shouting, “Share this video as much as possible, or else I can even sacrifice my life!”

KI News

Kashmir Images is an English language daily newspaper published from Srinagar (J&K), India. The newspaper is one of the largest circulated English dailies of Kashmir and its hard copies reach every nook and corner of Kashmir Valley besides Jammu and Ladakh region.

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