Friday, October 30, 2020

If a journalist says she is neutral, she must be lying: Shekhar Gupta shatters the sham of ‘neutrality’ in a rare moment of honesty

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Shekhar Gupta

— Consider reading the article If a journalist says she is neutral, she must be lying: Shekhar Gupta shatters the sham of ‘neutrality’ in a rare moment of honesty on OpIndia website —

Shekhar Gupta, one of the foremost faces of supposed “neutrality” in the world of journalism and the chief of the Editors Guild of India recently acknowledged that journalists naturally had political biases.

Speaking on his Youtube show, celebrating three years of his media venture ‘The Print’, Shekhar Gupta took some questions from his audience.

One of the audience members asked him a question on how does he prevent his biased opinion from coming into his ‘journalism’. Responding to his question, Shekhar Gupta said that if any journalist ever said he or she was neutral, the person must surely be lying.

Gupta then went on to say that even journalists were human beings and they are not neutral. “We are human beings. We cannot be neutral. We are not machines and we are not robots. Remember, after five years we all go and vote,” says Shekhar Gupta.

Further, Gupta said that everybody votes for a political party after five years. In the video, he even says that the Chief Justice of India, President of India, Chief Election Commissioner vote every five years, insinuating that people who exercise their constitutional right during elections too have their political biases.

Shekhar Gupta further laments about political parties, which people like him oppose, winning elections after elections with a huge majority. He says, “You cannot change it or you cannot deny”. Essentially, Shekhar Gupta says that he has learnt to deal with his bias over time and it is not easy. Citing an example, Shekhar Gupta says that a political party, that you don’t want to win, may win and while reporting, you have train yourself to simply say “this party won”.

Gupta adds that he has learnt to live with prejudice based on his experience. “News is always what you wanted to be,” Shekhar Gupta admits in his show.

The veils of neutrality finally slip

For a very long time, the self-proclaimed “liberal” establishment has claimed that the journalists who further the narrative that they believe in, including Shekhar Gupta are “neutral”. In essence, they said that the journalists who they repose their faith in often have the ability to put aside their political biases and report news in a manner that has no ideological slant.

This is, of course, not true. Every five-star journalist that India has seen often has a strong political bias that leans to the Left. In a rare moment of honesty, Shekhar Gupta has admitted that neutrality is a sham that was created for journalists to further their own agenda without being questioned on their own biases.

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