The press should hold those in power accountable, but those in power have always figured out a way to circumvent the press, said Tom Goldstein, a former member of the Pulitzer Prize Board.
Goldstein, who is Professor and Dean Emeritus of UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, said today’s journalism faces momentous challenges, which, only the well-qualified and educated journalists could take up.
“The press is supposed to hold those in power accountable, but those in power have always figured out a way circumvent the press. News and information are now the wild, wild west. It will be up to the next generation of journalists to tame and guide this babble of voices, and that is why training them is so important,” Goldstein said.
He was inaugurating the ‘The Jindal School of Journalism and Communication’ (JSJC), launched by O P Jindal Global University, which will offer BA (Honours) Media and Communication programme for the students.
Senior journalist Rajdeep Sardesai, who delivered the lecture on the topic ‘Ethics and Professional Obligations of Journalists in a Democracy’, said that ownership is the key issue in today’s journalistic environment and corporate and political interest must be kept out of the newsroom so as to sustain the commitment to a professional media environment.
“Far too many corporates and political parties who are dependent on government decision making have made inroads into the media landscape. In each instance this rising influence is effecting the growth of a truly independent media that is desirable in a democratic society,” he said.
Sardesai also described social media as an echo chamber for ‘hate and outrage’ which brands journalists based on their ideological preferences.
Addressing the gathering, Professor C Raj Kumar, Vice Chancellor of O P Jindal Global University, said objective of the course is to foster skills of critical enquiry and communication through interdisciplinary studies and a hands-on training of both traditional and new media.