Author : S.R.Seshu
Broadly, there are three types of journalism: 1) Balanced Journalism 2) Bhajana Journalism, and 3) Bellicose journalism.
‘Balanced Journalism’ is a significant of journalism professionalism, which can refer to objectivity, fairness, factuality and nonpartisanship, but most often encompasses all of these pious qualities.
‘Bhajana Journalism’, as name suggests, is nothing but heaping praises on the powers-that-be and making them very happy by publishing pro-stories and photos by leaving the purpose of journalism to the winds.
Last but not the least; ‘Bellicose Journalism’ refers to a deliberate attempt and a constant effort of a newspaper/news channel/ website to malign the prestige of a party/leader or a company by flouting the four qualities abovementioned. It, in simple terms, is diametrically opposite to ‘Balanced Journalism’ and meant to serve personal/political/business interests of the proprietor in the name of the freedom of press.
Almost all newspapers resort to the last two kinds of journalism over and over again for obvious reasons. Here is the latest example provided by one of the Telugu newspapers, Andhra Jyothi, owned by journalist Mr.Vemuri Radhakrishna, a tough nut to crack for many a politician.
A day after Telugu360 published an analytical story on the two major achievements of the Chief Minister KCR in his two year rule (Read: Decimation of Dissent and consolidation of Family), Mr.Muddasani Kodanda Ram Reddy, Chairman of the Joint Action Committee, which lent strong voice to the separate State demand, launched a broadside against the TRS government. The professor of Osmania University, the nerve centre of the movement, chose a superb theme to fire salvoes against the jubilant government.
Even as the TRS cadres are still in celebration mode, for having completed an extraordinary two year rule, Mr.Kodanda Ram, paid a visit to a few villages in Medak district to ‘console’ the evacuees of Mallannasagar Reservoir, one of the ambitious projects taken up by the government. Those who are going to forgo their lands, obviously, accorded a rousing reception to Mr.Kodanda Ram, who minced no words to lambast the KCR government for not implementing the “Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (RFCTLARR) Act, 2013. He warned of bringing the environmentalist Ms.Medha Patkar too in support of the people.
Earlier, a day before his visit to these villages, while releasing a document on “Two years of Telangana: People’s Aspirations and Government Functioning,” in Hyderabad, he made it very clear that the TRS government failed to achieve the desired development and anticipated change and it is no different from the then Andhra Pradesh governments.
The largest circulated Telugu daily, Eenadu, which stopped anti-TRS stand a long ago, promptly downplayed the JAC Chairman’s visit in today’s columns. But, it made a page-1 reference (an indicator with a headline ‘Ye prayojanaala kosamee vimarshalu’) to a complete story on Page-5. It, however, published a wisely-edited double column item with a photo of two women touching the feet of Mr.Kodanda Ram pleading him to come to their rescue on Page-14! There is no mention of any critical comment he reportedly made against the government.
Sakshi, a friendly newspaper of the TRS government, published two stories on Page-7, one on Mr.Kodanda Ram’s visit to villages and the other in the form of a collage of sharp criticism made by Ministers and MPs. It is fairly okay.
But, RK’s Andhra Jyothi made this entire episode as the banner story of the day with a headline ‘Jagadam’ (a fight) indicating that Mr.Kodanda Ram and TRS locked horns. The entire Page-14 is completely dedicated to highly acerbic attack on the professor. It also gave due coverage to Mr.Kodanda Ram’s visit to the villages along side his interview (Q and A type) in which he made it clear that the TRS government ‘failed to do any good for the people.’
Watch it, now newspapers, especially Andhra Jyothi, got the fodder for next fortnight!