Legitimate Journalism

in Journalism

Mohamed Muhsin is a Chartered Accountant and a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka. Prior to working at the World Bank, he served as Group Finance Director of ZIMCO, Zambia. His zeal for journalism began when studying at Trinity College. M.V.Muhsin is also a freelance financial guest writer, a sports correspondent and columnist of several newspapers in Sri Lanka.

Fascination with journalism

M.V.Muhsin attended the elite Trinity College at Kandy, a school providing primary and secondary education and founded by the Anglican missionaries.  In his school days, Mohamed Muhsin was the Head Prefect of Trinity College and was also awarded the Ryde Gold Medal (an annual award for the best student) in 1962. His passion for writing led him to become the editor of the school magazine. After passing out from Trinity, M.V.Muhsin spent a year at the school, as one of the teaching staff before migrating to Colombo to study Accountancy. As he pursued his career in Accountancy, M.V.Muhsin became extremely passionate about journalism. Journalism, according to him, brings into us a discipline – a discipline of analysis, a discipline of meeting deadlines and a discipline of being balanced and of verifying your facts.  These attributes which one acquires as a journalist served him well in his accounting career as well.  But, he recollects his teaching career and life in journalism as the most satisfying periods in his life.

Winds of Change

However, journalism has changed over the past several years. In the past, journalism was all about reporting in an unbiased fashion - reporting what you see and as you see it, without exaggeration. M.V.Muhsin recollects how in his days, Sri Lankan Minister of Sports K.B. Ratnayake, changed the Rugby  team sqad  after reading reviews from one of his sports columns. That kind of customary and authoritative Sports writing have changed for the worse, where journalists look for stories outside the lines and boundaries of which they were traditionally accustomed. Certainly, one of the most influential changes in the field of sports journalism is the increase of social networking. Social networking sites such as blogs, Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter are surging among all spheres of the population, and emerging as a powerfully influential trend in sports. Journalists now spend too much time chasing blog-based rumors and simply react to the daily torrent of news bites while the bigger stories and issues go wanting.  The recent situation with Tiger Woods serves as an example of how journalists just volleyed into his personal life.  As a result, an increasingly contentious relationship is developing between sports journalists and professional athletes. Frustrated athletes now use social networking sites, to share their thoughts and feelings first-hand without having to go through traditional methods. It is about time that responsible journalism made a comeback.

Mass media should practice legitimate journalism keeping people's welfare in mind, as media are liable to the masses. One of areas journalism should focus on is, working in a way so that the governments can know about people's aspirations. Journalists must follow an ethical philosophy and treat their subjects as they would treat themselves.  This, of course, leaves decisions subject to the journalists’ ethics.

Mohamed Muhsin has written several articles which are available on his website.

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Malaka Fernando has 3 articles online

M.V.Muhsin is a Strategic Management Consultant and a visionary, leader and orator, Mohamed Muhsin’s speeches and columns have inspired the masses and bought refinement to many a system.

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Legitimate Journalism

This article was published on 2012/01/15
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