Unbiased reporting to me is a utopian concept – something which you can dream of in an ideal world, but if you believe in that in the real world, you may land up in some major dis-belief after some days. I am not a reporter, nor a writer and hence do not have the inner conscience to recollect on some personal vows someone might have taken before they embarked upon on their careers. So, here I am writing controversy right now …
When I am a reporter writing on a piece of news or an interesting subject, in all probability, within my mind, I have already formed an opinion on that topic when I am doing some pre-research before I dive on the topic. Opinions will tend to be whether this person was a tyrant or not, whether this topic is a ‘right’ thing or a ‘wrong’ thing in my opinion, and so on. And that will dictate my questions in a future interview, dictate my nature of follow-ups …
Very often, we get influenced by the definition of ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ by simple values of life learnt during the formative years. And who defines the definition of ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ – well, famous people, history who have come up with that definition based on THEIR interpretation of good or bad that point of time.
Let me try to provide an example – we all will agree that murder of people is an unforgivable crime, no doubt on that. So, when news comes that X has killed Y, the culprit is already identified and crucified in our judgement. But what if murder arose because of self-defence ? We normally don’t think of this at all when we read the news for the first time – isn’t it ?
Now, let’s see if some actions of great leaders of various countries lead to similar situations. We all know the cold-blooded murders caused during World War II and do know from the history books who is responsible for those incidents. Now, what happens that because of certain political / economic decisions in a different nation, common people have been affected indirectly and have died in hundreds. Is that not a murder as well ? And for that, have we crucified those famous leaders and marked them as ‘murderers’ ? No … simply because the history was written by the victors, history was written by people who had been influenced by their definition of right or wrong. We can put on trial dictators who have put his own people to tortures and killings, but we do not even jail leaders who can start a bloody war based on their ‘perception’ of threat without any facts (people call that ‘war started based on false allegations) … why ? because when we report or take decisions, we only consider one point of view and in that process become biased in our thoughts.
So, I do believe unbiased reporting, unbiased ‘history’ is something we all can strive for, but never see that in reality.