Media Ethics in the Eradication of Superstition

 In a country like India where the semi-literate public believe that whatever that is printed in media is right and credible, the newspapers have to be extra cautious, if only they believe in media ethics. A Tamil daily in its Chennai issue dated 22nd December 2014, has reported that from the stone-image of a goddess, Karumari Amman, tears were falling down for an hour from 10 AM onwards on the Saturday, the 20th of December in the temple located in a hamlet Puliyankannu near Ranipet, Vellore District, Tamil Nadu.

 Sheer common sense demands whether it is possible for a stony idol to shed tears. Granting that it is true according to that daily, has it verified it by sending its reporter to ascertain the veracity of the report. Merely reporting it will befool the gullible audience. Credibility of the news media will go down in course of time.  It may be recalled that at Thiruvallikeni, a suburb of Chennai, somebody has concocted a story that the statue of God Vinayaga or Pillayar was drinking milk. The activists of  Dravidar Kazhagam publicly announced that if it is proved, a sum of Rs. One Lakh would be presented. Nobody came forward to accept the challenge and thus that fallacious rumour was nibbed in the bud.

 A self-imposed rightful ethics has to be observed by the press media. Inform, educate and entertain – these are the watchwords in journalism. The press should not, in any way aggravate the already existing blind belief and irrational superstitions.

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