The story behind a story

In 2008, when journalist Aidan White wrote To Tell You the Truth: The Ethical Journalism Initiative , there was no social media. At the time, the first step towards building public trust in journalism was by developing and implementing ethical standards. “When media act ethically and have systems in place for monitoring their journalism, admitting their mistakes and explaining themselves to the public they create loyalty and attachment,” he wrote.However, now, with the spread of social media and the growth of a new information disorder, journalists need to do this and much more to explain their craft and role. When I read some of the criticisms on social media against major American newspapers such as The New York Times and The Washington Post, I realise that Indian mainstream print media, including The Hindu, is facing a similar assault.Some of the charges are that the coverage is too biased, that the media is too liberal, that it is too critical of the ruling dispensation, that it suffers from internal censorship, and that it spreads negativity. The principles of journalism inform the process of including or rejecting stories in a newspaper. Short-lived WhatsApp forwards and social media rants do not decide the content of political coverage. The New York Times Politics Editor, Patrick Healy, has come up with an idea to address some of these concerns. In a personal Twitter project, he tries to explain his newspaper’s decision-making process for its readers.

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