Let the journalists do their job please

Published: August 10, 2012
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It’s a very thin line on which we journalists stand. It is the dangerous rope of right and wrong. DESIGN: ERUM SHAIKH

It’s a very thin line on which we journalists stand. It is the dangerous rope of right and wrong.

Generally, it is assumed that journalists take sides and that we are either party to one crowd or another, even when we are being very frank in stating the facts as they are.

The other day, I reported on the work of a fashion designer while avoiding any criticism on the highly-priced outfits and such, but lo and behold I get a call and am told not to criticise his “bread and butter”. I, for one, have no right to pass judgment on what he does and by the same token it is only fitting for him not to judge my work.

However, contrary to expectations he criticised me for a couple of minutes, very rudely, about my own work ethics — about my own bread and butter — until the call ended.

I fumed with anger and fury and felt like harshly telling him to stop dictating! Don’t tell me what’s right and wrong. But only for my ladylike mannerisms of trying not to be rude to others, I silently listened to his comments and kept thinking to myself, how assuming it is of others to believe that one can easily report on things in a neutral manner when others can only constantly pinpoint negatives about the reporter. How are reporters to be successful in championing our cause of reporting facts when others in the audience don’t want to listen? This phone call experience was absurd.

So I reckoned, in all honesty, that I should be told how to report and what not to report by my subject. I shall be told, until the very end, “Please don’t mention this and don’t mention that”. Realistically, the picture is very dim, for to report objectively is a very sensitive and daunting task that constantly keeps you under pressure and stress, awaiting your next call of complaint to be cursed out, yet again.

No controversies, please.

If only readers could understand and apprehend, it’s a tough job.

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Saadia.Qamar

Saadia Qamar

A reporter on the Life and Style desk of The Express Tribune

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.