UPSC Daily Answer writing practice GS- 4 #38

The most important and most neglected part for Civil Services Preparation is answer writing. It is not about HOW MUCH YOU STUDY but CAN YOU WRITE within word limit and time frame. After UPPCS daily answer writing practice and  UKPCS DAILY ANSWER WRITING PRACTICE, ORACLE IAS comes out with new initiative UPSC DAILY ANSWER WRITING PRACTICE.

What do you understand by Ethics of Journalism? What are the major issues related to ethical journalism in India?(250 words)

पत्रकारिता में नैतिकता से आप क्या समझते हैं? भारत में नैतिक पत्रकारिता से जुड़े प्रमुख मुद्दे क्या हैं? (250 शब्द)


Briefly state its importance


  • important values
  • challenges today with examples


  • Way forward

Model Answer

Journalism, often said to be fourth pillar of Democracy is responsible for shaping opinion of the masses. Most of our great leaders from Rammohun Roy to Gandhi were also journalists. It is important that journalism be conducted with following values/principles:-

  • A journalist should be impartial and not publish news with an ideological bias. However editorials and opinions can represent his personal views.
  • The coverage should be fair to all parties and not one sided.
  • Truth is the ultimate goal of a journalist and he should not try to hide inconvenient truths and show half truths.
  • A journalist should be independent of political patronage, business influence etc.
  • She/He should be responsible and sensitive to timing and coverage of the story. E.g. one should not cover a running anti-terrorist operation in minute details.

Major issues related to ethical journalism in India:-

  • Paid news: i.e. news published by giving money to media, especially during elections is against fair democracy. The Election Commission penalizes paid news during elections, but it needs a permanent solution.
  • Political ownership of many big media houses dictates editorial policies and creates conflicts of interest e.g. Sun TV etc.
  • Quid pro quo between media, business and politicians as exposed in Radia tapes shows that there is lack of transparency and accountability
  • Restrictions by the government in covering its deficiencies e.g. recent case of arrest of a journalist in UP for exposing deficiency in mid-day meals
  • Prevalence of fake news, specially through social media.
  • Dependence of media on government for subsidies(in newsprint) and revenues (advertisements and subscriptions) creates powerful incentive for these not to take a position against govt.

Journalism should be a mission rather than a money making business. However, due to corporatisation and powerlessness of PCI, many ethical challenges have come up. We need certain regulations for entrants into the profession, clear conduct rules with mechanism for implementation.

UPSC answer writing