Delivering the keynote address on ‘Ethical Journalism in a Modern Media Environment,’ organised by the US Consulate General in Chennai on Wednesday, McKenzie said merely seeing a pregnant woman on train delivering her baby does not qualify a co-passenger, who has used social media to post the event, to be a doctor. Likewise, people need to understand the distinction when it comes to journalism, Alison said, highlighting the immense opportunities that are available in a connected world, thanks to new tools and technologies driving information consumption.
The event, held to mark the “World Press Freedom Day”, saw the participation of top journalists from leading media houses engage in a panel discussion on ‘Critical Minds for Critical Times: Media’s Role in Advancing Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies.’
In the digital era where the consumption of news is happening round the clock on the internet, the relevance of ethical journalism gains more focus. The need for ethical journalism in a new age media environment is paramount. It is time to separate the wheat from the chaff, said McKenzie. India figures among the top 10 countries where journalists have lost their lives. Freedom of the press comes with a set of responsibilities, she noted. Underscoring the importance of ethical journalism, McKenzie said, “Our job is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. The sole aim of a journalist should be service.”
The panel discussion, moderated by Alexis Wolff, Information Officer, US Consulate General in Chennai, saw Krishnan Vaidiyanathan, Editor, Dinamani , V Sudarshan, Senior Associate Editor, The Hindu and Yagna Balaji, Editor, DTNext , share their expert opinion. Alangaram Arockaim SJ, Superior, Beerchmans Illam, Loyola College, delivered the introductory note.
“Social media is binary and algorithm-driven whereas traditional media has a conscience and a human element. Therefore, it can’t be replaced. The choice to inform or influence is a decision that needs to be taken by those in the media,” a panelist noted.