Thiruvananthapuram: Speaking at 'Sacred Facts', the one-day event organised by Mathrubhumi to mark the World News Day, Rajdeep Sardesai, Consulting Editor of India Today TV, said that journalists cannot remain prisoners of business models that profit from hate and polarisation.
"We cannot become prisoners of a false narrative that creates a 'them versus us' battle. Rather than examining and interrogating conflicting claims, we end up giving space to stereotypes and the most extreme opinions. We cannot remain prisoners of a business model that seeks to profit from hate and polarisation. Journalism is a morality challenge, not just a business proposition", he said.
Talking about the rise of social media and its impact on mainstream media, Sardesai said, "When we replace sense with sensation, news with noise, fact with opinion, we create an ecosystem of news where it is very easy to distort reality."
"Unfortunately, even news channels have begun to profit from hate by running a Hindu-Muslim discourse that is aimed and appealing to the baser instincts of people, of prejudice and bigotry. It is almost as if every Muslim is put through a test of patriotism on TV even as Hindus claim victimhood", he said.
Sardesai further opined that when the quality of journalism is judged not by content, but by a fraud rating system, then it is so easy to fall prey to sensationalism.