Journalists bias should be towards public interest
Facebook and Google have grabbed the traditional revenue models of newspapers, magazines and television channels: advertisements. They are also publishing and broadcasting mostly sourced by users! New is almost free (but comes with a price!). Corporatization of media is a reality: profit is the prime motive not the public service. In such an environment, there are people like Dumitru Stoianov determined more than ever to work as a journalist and work in the interest of the public.
From the landlocked Moldova, Dumitru Stoianov aka Dima, has unlocked his vistas and vision. His zeal to contribute to his country’s democratic institutions and deepening of democracy is palpable. After completing his Master’s in Investigative Journalism at JMG, he wants to be in journalism in order to enable the audience to make an informed choice because he is passionate and interested in the democratisation of Moldova.
Lofty goal? “It is a post-Soviet country, and the mentality is very post-Soviet I would say. We have a goal to become European country and the journalists have a word to say to that,” says Dima. He reckons journalists should be unbiased but if there is a bias the bias should in the public interest!
Moldova is different. We aim to become a stable and a powerful country and with a good powerful independent institutions. And, we need good journalists right now to help to do that.
Moldova the nascent nation-state has two highways but has to choose one: Russia or EU? Which one and why? Dima infers that Scandinavian countries have established institutions which propel the democratic process irrespective of the Fourth Estate but that is not the case in his home country. “Moldova is different. We aim to become a stable and a powerful country and with a good powerful independent institutions. And, we need good journalists right now to help to do that.”
At the threshold of teenage, Dima chose to become a journalist, and he studied journalism in his under graduation, and started to work as a journalist. With technological advances impacting journalism, and the challenges journalism is facing (technical and editorial), and the need to have a qualification in higher education, he decided to study Master’s in Investigative Journalism.
Why at University of Gothenburg’s JMG?
“I just googled for Master’s in Investigative Journalism. I found one in London and one here in Gothenburg. And I chose this one. It is simple because Swedish Institute also gives scholarships for students like me…this Master’s course was eligible.”
You have to be always very relevant to the place where you are working as a journalist.
Many professions need a qualification but politics and journalism are always exempted. Because anyone can become a politician, anyone can become a journalist but it is not the case for a doctor or dentist, psychiatrist of psychologist. But a politician or a journalist should have copious common sense and a spirit to work in the interest of the people: for the greater common good of humanity at micro or macro level. Dima pinpoints out that journalists are people without skills but surmises that is a very challenging profession. Challenging because one has to interact with people, chase information, know what is public interest…it is not the most difficult thing but you can become irrelevant with time. “You have to be always very relevant to the place where you are working as a journalist. So, it is a very challenging profession.”
The Master’s in Investigative Journalism at JMG in Gothenburg has been up to his expectations especially the faculty, the environment in the city and also learned news aspects in his profession. He says, “I learned some things such as mobile journalism but I never understood its potential but this is the top thing I learned here.”
In a media environment, where publishing and broadcasting news echoes patriotic bias or nationalistic tone, Dima says there is a need for independent journalists like never before and to strengthen the public service broadcasters. He points to the news portal meduza which is anti-Putin but pro-Russia but biased towards public interest.
Text and photos by Kovuuri G. Reddy