Should National Security in Journalism Matter?

National Security in Journalism

It is ironical that the channel whose sister channel recently came out with a peculiar editorial policy favoring national security over journalism has been banned for transgressing national security while reporting. This is a very important question. Should journalists even care about national security?

A well-known journalist (cum a rumoured RAW spokesman), who often appears in these news channels, once mocked Pakistan for running ads in newspapers seeking counterintelligence information about RAW agents. Of course, a RAW spokesman should mock it but should a journalist mock it too? Well…they did it too. And I won’t blame them because they have been illusioned by intelligence agencies into believing nothing comes above national security, and journalism should take a back seat when the intelligence agents report — though, ironically, they compete for the same intelligence/news. But give it a thought. Why should there be any intelligence officer at all? Why shouldn’t every intelligence, whatsoever, be in newspapers as news? BTW, as per a book written by an ex-RAW agent, RAW relies heavily on publicly available news for its intelligence needs in the case of China. As I understand as a layman, that’s what the role of a journalist is; i.e., to bring out the truth irrespective of repercussions. What gives them the right to hide information from the public in favour of some self-assumed guardians? Has any journalists ever reported how these intelligence officers infringe the right to life, including privacy, of people! Or, for that matter, has any journalist ever taken the dare to expose these intelligence agents who penetrate journalism like termites! Their dare is limited to dancing on streets wearing third gender clothes.

Well…I do support NDTV against this ban, but I am not sure how many of them might be intelligence agents themselves. Being on this side of the divide definitely doesn’t mean ignoring penetration of intelligence agents into journalism. The journalists should have opposed amendment in Cable  TV  Network  Rules,  1994, adding a  new  clause, 6(1)  p,  prohibiting  TV  channels  from  carrying content “which  contains  live  coverage  of  any anti-terrorist  operation  by  security  forces,  wherein media  coverage  shall  be  restricted  to  periodic briefing  by  an  officer  designated  by  the  appropriate Government,  till  such  operation  concludes”. The fact that they didn’t oppose the amendment shows their respect towards their profession vis-à-vis towards the intelligence agents who penetrate them. At least now NDTV 24×7 needs to apologize for announcing such an obnoxious editorial policy favoring national security over everything else. 

 

Copyright 2016 Ankur Mutreja

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About the Author

Ankur Mutreja
Ankur Mutreja is an advocate-cum-writer, and his blogs are amongst his modes of expression. He has also authored six books: "Kerala Hugged"; "Light: Philosophy"; "Flare: Opinions"; "Sparks: Satire and Reviews"; "Writings @ Ankur Mutreja"; and "Nine Poems"; which can be downloaded free from the links on the top menu.

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