Saturday, 28 June 2014

Media: The worst place to work?

Every child, every teenager and simply every person in the world has big dreams in life and each one of us craves for fame! And that is exactly what a career in the media industry offers you! Or rather, pretends to offer! Just like many other people in this world and the students of my batch when I was pursuing the Bachelors of Mass Media course, I had dreams in mind to become a journalist and contribute to the well being of society. Till then, the impression in my mind was that media is a pillar of the society that helps strengthen it and stands up in support of common people and against crimes and injustice in the world. Or rather, that is what we were taught throughout our course! But, the picture was entirely different in reality, I realized that when I first interned with a local news channel in Navi Mumbai. Although I have given up the dream of working for a news channel or even in the print media, and have already embarked on a career in the digital world, I can feel the cruelty of the field from articles published on the web, from blogs of some prominent journalists, innumerable cases of injustice, social and sexual abuse of journalists, murders and a lot more.

As far as I have read, heard and experienced about life in the field of media so far, I am truly disgusted with the kind of life media people are required to live. Media people here not only involves journalists but a number of people, editors, technicians, stringers, bureau people, newsroom in-charge, supervisors, artists and many others who had, once in their life, dreamt of having an accomplished career by entering the industry. Media, on date, is one of the worst fields to work in and I recently came to realize this when a friend sent me a link of a note written by a journalist that was published to the web. The letter was written by a female journalist to all the editors in the world, requesting humanity in assigning work and setting goals, targets and deadlines and also dealing with cases of abuse and assaults on women journalists these days!

It is a matter of fact that journalists these days are a victim of cut throat competition in the field of media; each news channel and newspaper wants to get a news first, conduct and present research, take follow ups and what not! In all the mess, does anyone ever consider that a journalist has a personal life too, he or she has a family too and that someone somewhere waits for this person to get back home, take rest and live a normal life? It is okay to be professional, it is okay be career oriented and it is also fine to be dedicated to one's job! But to what extent! Journalists and all the media guys in the country, barely get a holiday! You would find these guys working even on weekends, and most of the times, at a truly less salary than what they actually deserve! These guys also have to work on the New Year's Eve, on Diwali and all the other festivals when the world enjoys with their family and friends! Isn't that unfair?

And when you ask your employees to work so hard for long hours, in odd shifts and even on public holidays, isn't it the moral duty of any media organisation to ensure complete security and create an environment where a female employee feels secure and comfortable to work in? A large number of female journalists have committed and attempted suicides till date, many others are fighting cases in the court, many of them have been suppressed by their own bosses and colleagues and many have simply locked away terrible memories and moved on in life! A career is an aspiration and a dream of people, an office is where today's generation spends most of their time! And how secure it is for a media person who spends more time at office than normal employees do? We have countless cases of sexual assault and harassment of female journalist and employees (who can forget the sophisticated and high profile Tarun Tejpal case recently)! Media is, in fact, one of the cheapest and most disrespected fields to work in, where employees not only lack security and well-being but are also often deprived of respect and a good compensation for their hard work.

It is my request to all those reading this, since many of my friends are journalists or work in media organisations, please strive to claim your rights and help make media a better workplace!