Whats wrong with today’s journalists, critics and experts that they tend to ignore the basics and have become spineless reporters, they simply take orders or press releases and pre-packed information for reporting rather than working out what is the truth behind the stories and giving the readers a truthful picture and not a sensational or biased story which either hides the truth or distorts the truth. The first obligation of any form of journalism be it political, scientific, cultural or sports is – truthful presentation of facts to the public.
It has to be such that you display your loyalty to the readers and to the public in general. And, the essence of its discipline is the verification of truth from various sources and, those who practice as freelancers must maintain their independence by covering the stories that are not just stories but, what is the truth behind those stories.
Unfortunately in today’s journalism they do not have the independent power to stand up for the rights for the people who read their articles, news items, the reporting must provide a truthful forum for public criticism and compromise. But, thanks to the Internet and the emergence of blogs, there is a kinda check and balance in their reporting, yet there are those who have built a name or a reputation as fair and impartial journalists can get away by their biased reporting and or, writing the stuff that suits their needs or, by writing their personal views which they think is right. That is not journalism, it has to be relevant and significant as well as interesting yet very comprehensive, fair, honest, unbiased and the writer must exercise his personal conscience in reporting.
Even in routine reporting, bias can creep into a story through a reporter’s choice of facts to summarize, or through failure to check enough sources, hear and report dissenting voices, or seek fresh perspectives. And, the recent example of this kinda reporting was observed in sports journalism. I am talking about cricket in particular where, well known and renowned journalists and critics have deliberately ignored the truth and picked up only bits and pieces of a story, distorted it and created something they think is right, in fact they want others to believe that this is the truth – which actually is far, far away from truth.
Some of the journalists are practicing two types of censorship, one is organizational censorship and the other is the self-censorship and both are a growing problem in journalism, particularly in covering stories that sharply restrict press freedom. As commercial pressures in the media marketplace grows, media organizations are loath to lose access to high-profile stories by producing unflattering stories.
It is a known fact that journalists in many countries enjoy certain privileges which are not enjoyed by members of the general public, including better access to public events, crime scenes and press conferences, and to extended interviews with public officials, celebrities and others in the public eye. And same is the case in sports journalism and in dealing with famous cricket personalities who are more famous than movie celebrities of today.
These privileges are there because of the perceived power of the press to turn public opinion for or, against governments, their officials and policies, as well as the perception that the press often represents their consumers. These privileges extend from the legal rights of journalists but, are not guaranteed by those rights. Sometimes government officials may attempt to punish individual journalists who irk them by denying them some of these privileges extended to other journalists. Like banning them from the White House news briefings where they like to see and to be seen and nothing more than a status symbol.
Anyways, I do not wish to delve deeper in the political journalism but, my aim is to highlight the trend that is seen for the past few years and now it has become more obvious to public and i.e., choice reporting. But, the best thing that has happened in these few years is the emergence of blogs on the Internet and the emergence of our independent blog is the result of organizational censorship that we have seen on cricinfo where our comments were censored, edited, curtailed and sometimes deleted completely. So, we established this blog not only vent out our feelings or frustration as some may think, but to raise a voice against injustices in Pakistan cricket, against regionalism, jingoism and unfair selection of the team etc., etc.
Here we not only write what we feel is the truth and nothing but truth, but we also allow comments which are very diversified and sometimes very inappropriate in language yet we publish them and we do reply to them according to the tone of that comment, sometimes with a touch of light humour and sometimes with comments supported by facts and figures.
The reason of writing this thread on this subject is, we felt very cheesed off by the recent articles written by some very well known and respected journalists and critics for whom we had very high regard and we considered them as journalists and critics of very high standard that they are fair and unbiased. But, they too have either ignored or neglected the truth and wrote something to appease the masses.
Now, I would like to pinpoint the fact that irks us and it is about the criticism that is hurled and bombarded on Pakistan cricket team captain, Younus Khan for playing that reverse sweep on which he got out in the second test against Sri Lanka. The whole media has targeted him as the culprit and because of his stupid shot Pakistan lost the test series against Sri Lanka. Wait a second gentlemen, take pause and don’t allow your mind to run like that of a cattle herd and keep on jumping into that hole one after the other, don’t let your mind controlled by a pied-piper instead, use your mind and your intellect in all fairness and think whether they are right or they tainting your opinions? Younus Khan was out after making 80 odd runs, he was involved in a 200 runs partnership with Fawad Alam. How can you blame him, or make him responsible for losing the series?
What else do you want from him? Score a triple hundred and win the match singlehandedly? What about the spineless and nothing players like Malik and Misbah. They came and played like novices, in fact they deliberately threw away their wickets and from 285 for one, the team was all out on 320. Just an addition of 35 runs and lost 9 wickets. And you hold Younus Khan responsible for that?
If there is a sports journalist in Pakistan or elsewhere who can say I write independently or cover the news for the interest of Pakistani cricket fans, must stand up now and speak like a man rather than creating a story for the masses who do not wish to hear anything against their local heroes Malik and Misbah along with their sidekick Kamran Akmal. The reality bites, they cannot handle the truth hence they cannot write the truth.
I request the readers and bloggers of this blog to express their views without any bias or hesitation and let us clear this thing and prove that there is freedom of expression here and we do not have those organizational censorship or the self-imposed censorship to get a vote of appreciation for being fair, impartial and lenient and the truth they are not fair and lenient but biased and partial. We are setting up a polling here for you to vote whether you hold Misbah and Malik as culprits for losing the test series or was it Younus Khan’s reverse sweep? Please be honest and fair and vote. Thank you ALL.