Students of media while taking the test of integrity, cried foul, declaring the question of disclosing and then detailing the identity of Shweta Prasad as one out of syllabus. Students claimed that the syllabus of Media Ethics and Integrity is governed by the following guidelines and exceptions:
1. Hate the evil not the devil (or as Gandhiji said, “hate the sin not the sinner”): Media should follow the guidelines given by Gandhiji, therefore, they name the scandal but not the people behind it. The scandal in this case is Shweta Prasad and not the people who pushed it. Therefore, naming a single person apart Ms Prasad herself who attributed to the story was not considered ethical.
Exception: Naming people is allowed in cases where both sides of story are equally powerful. Ms Prasad’s piece of gossip did not qualify under this exception.
2. TRP is God but not the Goddess; investors are Goddess: We all know that the Goddesses are more powerful than Gods. Even though the principle suffers from gender biases and non-secular approaches, it clearly explains the priority levels to students of NEWS Media. Also, it explains that there is no pleasing of God without Goddess.
Exception: There is no exception to the rules of Gods
3. Love thy neighbor: Love your neighbor or she may disconnect your water connection. NEWS media, like other pillars of India, loves its own kind.
Exception: Integrity is virtue of individuals and not applicable to multiple organizations a time. Therefore, the act of pompous self-scrutiny by NEWS media shall be promoted only if it means killing one organization. Remember, Tarun Tejpal was a competitor and a strong one.
4. Legal compass is the moral compass: Students of NEWS media are ardent followers of this rule, exceptions of which are as rare as “free press”. If naming rape victims were allowed by the legislation, students of NEWS media would have loved to expose the sin. This would have pleased Gods as well as Goddesses. “The legal compulsions are making students to deviate from basic rules of NEWS Media Ethics”, confessed a student after being promised anonymity.
When asked by Faking News about any urge within students to feel humane and concerned about the impact the News on any individual, the students replied unanimously that the urge has been subdued to extinction with the help of extensive training. Feeding the insatiable hunger for gossip, students of NEWS media, has only one competitor, “the Saas-Bahu Brigade”. However, in terms of employee satisfaction, the NEWS media industry outweighs gossip oriented serials by giving the pleasure of playing with the lives of real people.