Case for standard/uniform credentials and ID for media in India

Most of us in India have come across people who throw around their weight and claim to be from “press” or some “TV channel”. It appears any Tom Dick and Harry can claim to be from “Press” and getaway with anything they want – be it in public or in private.

Paparazzi fake Indian journalists

Here in Karnataka almost on daily basis we are seeing arrests of “fake journalists” (see report below of arrests in Bangalore)

Fake journos

(From Deccan Herald, 4th Nov)

 We saw with disgust during Mumbai bomb blasts when visual/print media without any respect for deceased/injured thrust their mikes and camera into the partially naked bodies.

And some channels/newspapers even encourage citizens to be voyeurs and send photos taken from cell phones! Disgusting – whatever happenned to concept of privacy or basic human dignity?

With the mushrooming of TV Channels and newspapers, it is becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish if one is a genuine media person or some pervert who is using “media” tag to do unethical activities – like taking photos of college girls without their permission or taking photos/video of patients who are naked inside the hospital emergency room.

Almost on daily basis we are seeing “media” people getting arrested for cheating etc. See this latest news from Bangalore above.

 When challenged these “media” people get unruly and start shouting that they are in “public space” – whatever that means.

Fake journalists

(above news clip from Vijaya Karnataka)

With the rapid growth of services industry, even in small town India we see store clerks, janitors, sales people wearing or having some sort of ID. And other professionals like doctors, lawyers can be readily identified by their attire.

So why is that we don’t have any sort of standard credentials or ID for media people in India? Except for some big TV channels most of media in India don’t carry any ID.  This has resulted in mushrooming of fake journalists and media who think saying the magic word “PRESS” entitles them to whatever they wish to do – and as we have reported earlier in this blog, even invading private spaces like homes, schools, hospitals. Not to mention the whole underworld-media blackmailing nexus like “Karavali Ale” group – which goes after officials, police officers, politicians if they don’t pay money to its reporters.

So what is the solution? Press Council of India – supposedly the watchdog of print media is spineless when it comes to acting on complaints against yellow journalism.  And there is no central Press Association when all Press Clubs and Associations in Indian cities are mirred in their own in-fighting – as seen in fist fights during Bangalore, Mumbai Press Club elections!

At least for now idea of uniform media credential in India seems bit farfetched. With general public already taking a very dim view of media people and almost daily arrests of fake journalists, it won’t be long before people start questioning all press/media. And when this disgust with media becomes widespread in society and reaches a boiling point, even IDs may not help!

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Related posts on the issue of corrupt/fake journalists and invasion of private space by so-called Press/Media:(links open in new window)

* Mumbai doctors protest taking photos of injured patients during serial bomb blasts.

* Fake press photographer tries to take photos of school girls inside a church school in Brahmavar through cell phone and loses his cellphone.

* Fake photographers without any ID arrested in Manipal for taking photos of naked patients inside Emergency Room and obstructing doctors from treating injured patients.

* How Udupi Press Club stood behind these pervert photographers who took photos of hospital patients without any permission.

* Read how an evening newspaper in Mangalore, “Karavali Ale” contributed to large scale communal violence by publishing a fictious false story about a person’s death.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Corrupt Udupi Journalists, Mangalore Communal Riots, Patient privacy in Indian hospitals

3 Comments on “Case for standard/uniform credentials and ID for media in India”

  1. Rohan Patel Says:

    Right on the money!

    I once sat next to a young chap while flying Delhi to Mumbai in a plane. He claimed to be from media and boasted how he knows everyone from Sonia Gandhi to Kalam! When I asked for his visiting card he did not even have one!! And the way he was yakking on cellphone all the time he did appear to be some kind of dalal or pimp – was promising people “kal minister ko phone karoonga”, “kaam ho jayega” etc.

    Delhi is full of these fake media types..

  2. Vidyadhar Prasad Says:

    Great points, but why am I not surprised.

    Practically every other profession – accountant, lawyer, doctor, engineer, police etc – need some sort of degree.

    Journalism is the only profession in India where anyone need not even have metriculation pass to become a “reporter” or hangout with “PRESS” tag. And less said about the paparazzi the better – and big media emphires are encouraging peeping toms with cell phone camera etc. It is only going to get worse unless media themselves put some sort of limit on what they publish.

    Vidya, Chennai

  3. E Raviraja Gowda T V Says:

    ALL JOURNALISTS ARE FAKE IN UDUPI!
    journalists when they are caught red handed, are declared as stringers by newspaper owners/ editors…so that absolves them of all reponsibility!

    Real Story: Press reporter collects money in pretext of placing an ad> money is shared amongst editor and reporter> advertiser gets angry for non publication of ad>editor disowns reporter> other media reports- fake journalists caught!> people forget the episode> pressreporter joins the paper> starts blackmailing/ slander campaign against the complainant or Police…


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