Nothing sells like bad News! Mainstream media have become experts in this art, fine tuning their devious methods since years. The recent headline “Kashmir Bleeds” takes the cake – as a landmark low in vulture journalism. What many considered as a respected medium to project the ongoing positives of Kashmir has stooped to the level of flaring news. Strengthening the positive is the need of the hour, the epitome being the theme for World Photography Day “Building a fairer, healthier Kashmir for everyone”. On the other hand, the media team was busy digging dirt against India. While the holy month of Ramadan marked its beginning, biased and politically motivated media were gleefully showcasing images of gloom and doom from only one region – Kashmir. Did they show any such images from places in the PoK or the Baluchistan, even at the peak of Pakistan’s savagery and onslaught? The answer is a clear No! As per law of the land, publishing images of death, tragedy without consent is considered an offence. Whatever little ethics they have evaporates when it comes to bashing Kashmir. Journalism perhaps requires a certain clinical detachment from and disregard for some of the ethical niceties and sensitivities of everyday life. Moreover, journalism often requires rushed thinking and action, leaving little time for deep reflection. Why then flash outraging headlines showing India in poor light? Can it be a deliberate attempt to spread panic, chaos, and despair? Or is it to influence public sentiment and then ruin the image of Indian armed forces and country as a whole on a global front?
Even appeals by Opinion makers and important stakeholders fell on deaf ears –showing disturbing images of dead bodies of terrorists and flocking of crowds for their burials is a clear case of instigating masses. Vulture journalists have not even shied away from posting fake and morphed images – for instance one newspaper had published a photograph showing the body of a man lying on the road near an encounter site and claimed it to be death due to security forces bullet. In reality the man was killed by terrorists and security forces had cordoned the area in order to nab the attackers. Can journalism stoop lower. Yes, it can. Today, they are distorting positive initiatives taken by Indian armed forces, government agencies, administrative bodies and casting aspersions on them using dubious sources. Aren’t headlines like “Kashmir Bleeds” more inappropriate when Valley is on a roller coaster ride of development? Vulture journalistic support and the disruptive minds, should be held accountable for the consequence of such fake news, concocted images, and misleading sensationalism. They are solely responsible for adding to the panic, confusion, and failure of people to follow guidelines and protocols. Is this the real agenda of the media vultures? Are they orchestrating this at the behest of vested business interests?
Our approach in dealing with these negative mindsets needs a change, and our media and the intellects are surely capable of generating more compassion than the current meanness of spirit they display towards Kashmir and Kashmiris. Highlighting the development projects undertaken by several agencies and publishing success stories of individuals amidst this tumultuous and testing times surely need a mention on the front page of renowned newspapers and this will certainly go a long way in our endeavors to sustain peace and normalcy in the region.