Balanced reporting always evokes criticism – from both sides

Welcome to Indian Newslink September 1, 2022, Digital Edition

Venkat Raman
Auckland, September 1, 2022

We have always admired and respected Indian Newslink readers. They are intelligent, analytical, forthright and honest. Over the past 23 years, they have encouraged us to be balanced and non-judgmental in our reporting but take a bold stand in our editorials. They have provided us with the impetus to grow. We are grateful to them for their patronage and support.

In deference to the wishes of our readers, Indian Newslink has always looked beyond the headlines of a developing story and sought to explore the truth behind claims of people, especially politicians, for truthful reporting is the essence of the fourth estate and the foundation of every democracy. There are occasions when our report may be at variance with a popular belief because often, what is popular may not be factual.

Our front-page story in the latest Digital Edition of September 1, 2022, has evoked a heated response. The report, on Rebel Labour MP Dr Gaurav Sharma, was based on interviews conducted with the constituents of his electorate. There were bouquets and brickbats thrown at him by people- we simply reported them.

Cognitive dissonance

Too often journalists are confronted by cognitive dissonance which could constrain them to subscribe to delusion and or orient them towards the pursuit of excellence and truth. The New York Times journalist who fabricated stories and became a dream merchant was a perfect example of the opposite of responsible journalism.

We have always felt and expressed at times the fact that frivolity and callousness should not enter the equation of a small newspaper. For, as we have often stressed, to be small is not to be unimportant, unprincipled or uninvolved. If size were to dictate actions, New Zealand would not be a champion of world causes.

There is another danger in social media posts. We always provide a brief quote, reading which our patrons visit the link (often the headline) to open the document file and read the full text. It is not uncommon for people to react after reading only the quote.

Salutations to you

That said, we hold our critics too with equal respect. They make us pause, reflect, read our stories again and consider if any follow-up is required. In the present case, there is a pronounced need.

Irresponsible journalists are those who forget to look at their work and their craft. And perhaps the one thing that is most important in all of these is that journalists rather than having a pre-set idea of what is right or wrong, retain an open mind.

Please read our September 1, 2022, Digital Edition and share it with your colleagues, associates, families and friends. As well as current affairs, it carries stories on education, Fiji, business, community, entertainment and sports news, and of course, our Open-Eds.

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