Odisha News Insight

Yes, We deserve to be Humiliated!

ONI Bureau: More than a year ago, when BJP unofficially boycotted Kalinga TV and refused to send its official Spokespersons to the channel, none in the media fraternity raised their voice. They rather silently enjoyed while KalingaTV management tried their best to resolve the crisis, but in vain.

When the ruling BJD officially imposed a ban on OTV a few months later, there was a stoic silence in our media fraternity yet again. Every time we expect national & international media to speak out for us. But, we never tried to bring unity among ourselves.

When most Channels are affiliated to politicians and are forced to take sides, what can Journalists expect? We are destined to suffer, as we have sold our conscience to the owners. When Sports Secretary Vishal Dev insulted OTV Journalist in his chamber, nobody expected his fellow journalists to stand up and protest. Because, it’s Odisha! Vishal Dev had the audacity to behave in that manner as he knew he won’t face any opposition.

I won’t get into arguments whether it was a press meet or not. Won’t debate whether anyone needs permission to enter the chamber of a Senior Bureaucrat or not. The point is a Journalist of a leading TV Channel was humiliated and treated shabbily by a Govt Official in front of others. And, he deserves an apology at least.

We love Hockey. We all are promoting the Hockey World Cup 2018, as its associated with pride of Odisha. Even, OTV is doing the same without any exception. But, can people like Vishal Dev take us for granted? Neither the Chief Minister nor any Ministers behave with Media in such a weird manner. Then, why are some Bureaucrats doing it?

We are to be blamed for this. The Officers know our conscience, our unity and our integrity can be altered at their will. They are confident that they can suppress any dissenting voice using force or tricks. We lack unity and willpower to fight back. Our silence as well as bias helps them to divide us and rule.

There were instances in the past when press meets kept waiting for OTV boom. First news was being given to them always leading to dissent among other media houses. Today they are at the receiving end due to political reasons. But, that should not be the ground to turn against the channel. Some other channels may be the blue-eyed boys of the Govt today. But, there is no reason why they won’t face a similar fate tomorrow.

Nothing is going to change in future too. Media Houses are dependent on Govts and Political Parties for survival. And, Journalists have to take sides as long as they are not Independent. Message is loud and clear. “We deserve to be Humiliated” as our conscience has been mortgaged. Can we rise to the occasion and prove it wrong?

Vishal Dev may face the music and even pay a heavy price before or after the Hockey World Cup. But, that won’t be the victory of a non-existent ‘Media Unity’. We will be subjected to such insult and humiliation as long as we are part of the existing system.

— By Sagar Satapathy

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