Irresponsible journalism

It has become almost our national habit to misuse good things to meet personal ends. Many of us unabashedly try and benefit ourselves at the cost of national interest and ideals. This is partly due to lack of state authority that allows malicious tendencies to survive and prevail in the society. Amongst other things, journalism is also widely exploited by self-serving and unscrupulous souls. There is no dearth of such people who are ignorant of the requirements and responsibilities associated with this onerous profession. In spite of lack of requisite qualifications, they eagerly strive to impress upon others as if they are the champions of journalism.
The lack of journalistic professionalism coupled with conspicuous ignorance of national issues lead journalists to indulge in material pursuits and useless issues that not only brings bad name to journalism but also impedes the formation of healthy and informed public opinion on critical issues. In many cases, it has been found that amateur journalists often convey false and baseless news to gain cheap publicity. This, on the one hand, tarnishes credibility of this vital institution and on the other hand misguides people, which is a great disservice to the nation for obvious reasons.
Ironically some journalists have also been involved in harassing people by using false propaganda against them. Such abhorrent abuse of journalism is illegal, apart from being immoral. It is imperative for media houses, both print and electronic, to put a reasonable check on such practices. Journalistic credentials along with moral strength of those who seek to render their services to this profession ought to be seriously scrutinised. Journalism must not be made open for everyone. Only those who are serious and able enough to fulfil the much-needed requirements should be allowed to join and pursue this profession.
There is a dire need to reassert that freedom of speech has limits. It is in the best interest of media, and by implication whole nation, that media must try and preserve its dignity and credibility in the society, which it has earned after great many sacrifices. This is possible only by taking principled, enduring and uncompromising stance against unprofessional and irresponsible journalists.
SHAKEEL GHOURI
Mirpurkhas, Sindh

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