Scribes should declare assets, says columnist

Columnist Dinesh Amin Mattu delivering a talk on ‘Media and corruption’ at a programme          organised by Media Study Centre in Mangalore on Thursday. MIC in-charge Director                      Varadesh Hiregange, theatre personality Basavalingaiah and MGNREGS Ombudsman Sheena Shetty look on. DH photo

Journalists should be made to declare their assets! This was the opinion of wellknown columnist Dinesh Amin Mattu.

Addressing a seminar on ‘Media and corruption’ organised by Media Study Centre, in Mangalore on Thursday, he said that journalists have unfortunately found ways of making additional income from various quarters, which makes it necessary for them too, to declare assets.

“Learn to be happy with what you get. The whole of the world may be corrupt but you tell yourself that I am not corrupt and will never be so. This though will let you down. It will help you lead a decent life for sure,” said Mattu especially giving a clarion call to journalism students to insulate themselves from corrupt practices.

He opined that the first seed of corruption in media was sown right at a time when Journalism became a business. With this development, the business aspect overtook the social concern and commitment. In the later days, the ‘paid news concept’ doomed the media sector, with the advertisements and corporates dictating terms on the content of the newspaper.

With regard to more and more politicians owning media houses, Mattu said that this trend is the most dangerous one because the politicians indirectly ‘manufacture public opinion and consent’ as per their wish. “It is better to have businessmen venturing into media than politicians owning media houses,” he said.

Manipal Institute of Communication In-charge Director Vardesh Hiregange said that media saw a paradigm shift during 1990s when the advertisement and marketing started having evident impact on the news.

As a piece of advise to both students of journalism and the working journalists, Hiregange said that the writer should always take the victim’s position while reporting any event.

MGNREGS Ombudsman Sheena Shetty spoke elaborately on the ways the media had played a samaritan in bringing about social change by writing prominently on local issues.
Theatre personality Basavalingaiah said that media has undoubtedly brought about lot of awareness but somewhere it has failed in making people stand against situations.

“Lokayukta has nabbed so many corrupt officials but none of them have been punished. Media reports these raids but it has not been able to create public opinion to compel the people to start a movement against corruption,” he said.

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