Sunday, March 2, 2014

Journalism, Medicine and the change from mission to business

Since the last year or months, the following which I can easily remember used to hog the television prime time 24 x 7.

1)      Arvind Kejriwal waving some papers in front of television camera’s accusing Rovert Vadra of some land fraud .

2)      The whole Tarun Tejal incident

3)      The Devyani incident. The Indian government had asked the USA embassy about details of people working in the US school. Prima Facia there was some suspicion of visa fraud.

4)      A prominent TV anchor  screaming that “India needs to know” and this channel will not rest until ....

None of the above has come remotely close to a logical closure. All have been replaced with some new topic that can hog headlines and  grab viewer attention.  Before the days of television, the newspaper was the main inputs for news and commentary.   There was a clear separation of editorial integrity and business needs  and rarely was there any compromise between the 2.  Editors were celebrities in their own right. 

 It is true that the prime  goal of any business is to do business, but by and large this is intertwined with some other objective.  The 4th estate is  one of the pillars of democracy  and once this missions is forgotten, a part of democracy is compromised.


It is something akin to whay is happening in medicine. I don’t know if this is related or unrelated to my above point.  My friend and physician Dr. B C Rao  sums it up very well in his blog



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