ঢাকারবিবার, ১৪ই জুলাই, ২০২৪ খ্রিস্টাব্দ

Journalism = Truth | Opinion

Ishat Mannan | Ctgpost
মে ৯, ২০২৪ ৫:৩২ পূর্বাহ্ণ
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Defining “real journalism” can be a subjective matter, as some argue. In my perspective, it is the relentless pursuit of truth, regardless of the subject matter. Many scholars of journalism also agree that truth is the key element that distinguishes genuine journalism. 


We Human beings inherently possess biases and limitations that may hinder their ability to overcome these biases, yet true journalism should strive to remain impartial and free from personal prejudices, whether they be ideological, political, racial, or social in nature. As the saying goes, “reality is what it is, not what you want it to be,” emphasizing the importance of presenting the truth as it is, rather than how one may wish it to be portrayed.


There is a debate on the infinite ways of interpreting something, but it is believed that some things only have limited useful interpretations. the reality remains that jumping off a rooftop results in physical death, regardless of one’s interpretation of reality. In the end, the truth is undeniable.


The decline of authentic journalism within the western mainstream media was not a sudden occurrence, but rather a carefully orchestrated process that was meticulously planned and flawlessly carried out. It is my firm belief that journalism is most effective when it focuses on presenting the truth and facts, despite the inevitable influence of subjectivity at times. To elaborate further would be possible, but for the sake of brevity, let us conclude here..


Real journalism has the responsibility to lead us to uncomfortable places, even for journalists themselves, in order to uncover the truth that we seek and ultimately share. The challenge lies in the fact that reality can be harsh, but it is possible that facing this harsh truth is the only way to find a remedy for it.

Journalists in large numbers across the world have blindly followed their cue and amplified the lies or “planted” stories, I would suggest, more innocently than maliciously, as one cannot expect incurious and uncritical minds to dig too deep to discover what is true especially when millions of dollars are spent packaging those lies.




As regards the times we live in, Wikileaks has done a phenomenal job of exposing, for instance, how numerous western journalists from every news outlet you can think of were, let’s say, willing to “bend” the truth to promote their candidate of choice, namely Hillary Rodham Clinton, in the run-up to the last US elections. And they did so by publishing official government documents (and communications between officials and others) which contained nothing but facts.


For example, in one batch of the Podesta Emails, Clinton’s campaign handlers can be seen discussing the “placing” of stories in the media using “friendly journalists”. One email explicitly says, “we are all in agreement that the time is right [to] place a story with a friendly journalist in the coming days…For something like this…we feel that it’s important to go with what is safe and what has worked in the past, and to a publication that will reach industry people for recruitment purposes. We have has [sic] a very good relationship with Maggie Haberman of Politico over the last year. We have had her tee up stories for us before and have never been disappointed.”


Moreover, Wikileak’s Editor-in-Chief Julian Assange has also shown how US journalists in hordes belong to the same think tanks or organisations such as the Council on Foreign Relations, suggested (and proven) by some to have enormous influence over US foreign policy. Does this not indicate a conflict of interest, or the danger of conformity at the very least?


Unfortunately, journalists in large numbers across the world have blindly followed their cue and amplified the lies or “planted” stories, I would suggest, more innocently than maliciously, as one cannot expect incurious and uncritical minds to dig too deep to discover what is true especially when millions of dollars are spent packaging those lies. When the priority of journalists, and that of the news outlets, becomes making money—especially from big business and government—one problem the truth faces is, as Upton Sinclair once said: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on him not understanding it.”


Even more unfortunately, it is because of such conformity that the lies have led to one war after another. The Iraq War was instigated by the lie of weapons of mass destruction. That in Afghanistan with lies about 9/11 (for more on this, see my article: What Really Happened on 9/11. Post-mortem of the “Official Story”), so on and so forth. But what else can you expect when 90 percent of all media in the US is owned by only five corporations?


At the same time, let us not forget that there are some incredible journalists all across the world whose jobs have been made more difficult by the corporate media and its lies, but who have done some fantastic work despite great personal risks. In the Syrian War, for example, hundreds of Syrian journalists such as Danny Makki, Afra Dagher and others (many of whom have died) have done a brilliant job by exposing the lies that have allowed foreign interests to continue waging war against their nation, all the while the global media twists and presents it as a “civil war” to the rest of the world to keep it going.


Not only Syrian journalists, there were also others such as Canadian journalist Eva Bartlett who speaks fluent Arabic and has visited Syria numerous times to report the truth, despite a few close encounters with death; Vanessa Beeley, who has thoroughly exposed the White Helmets; Patrick Henningsen and others who have exposed the lies of the corporate media. And there are many more incredible and courageous journalists who are doing the same elsewhere.


But going against powerful interests to expose the truth that they prefer to keep hidden is not an easy task by any means. This has been made obvious by the death, or rather murder (by car bomb), of Maltese investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia who specialised in reporting on government corruption, nepotism, patronage, allegations of money laundering, links between Malta’s online gambling industry and organised crime, as well as countless others like her.


Sometimes, however, neither is suppressing the truth as easy, as in the case of the murder of Daphne, which simply gave birth to an international consortium of journalists from multiple news outlets joining hands to not only investigate her murder, but to keep her stories alive by investigating them as well. Or in the case of Julian Assange, arguably the greatest journalist—if you look from the perspective of truth tellers—of our time (if not in history).



What we should also learn is that, because those who wish to cast their shadows of fear, intimidation and lies on the entire human family have a tendency of working together—as that is the only way they can ever succeed—those opposing them must also unite, if what they desire is truth, and not self-aggrandisement, profit, etc.


If we have brains or courage, then we are blessed and called on not to frit these qualities away, standing agape at the ideas of others, winning pissing contests, improving the efficiencies of the neo-corporate state, or immersing ourselves in obscuranta, but rather to prove the vigour of our talents against the strongest opponents of love we can find.


If we can only live once, then let it be a daring adventure that draws on all our powers. Let it be with similar types whose hearts and heads we may be proud of. Let our grandchildren delight to find the start of our stories in their ears but the endings all around in their wandering eyes.


The whole universe or the structure that perceives it is a worthy opponent, but try as I may I cannot escape the sound of suffering.


As for me, the best way I have discovered I can act on them is by trying to find the truth and to speak it to the best of my abilities.


As for the threat to journalism around the world today, it is not really a threat to journalism, per say, but rather a threat to truth itself. Which is why not only should journalists take this current threat more seriously than ever before, but so should everyone else who realises that without truth, all we can do is live a lie—and by realising this, fight back, with the only weapon powerful enough to defeat the current threats: “the truth”.