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Opinion and Editorial

Happy News Year: Progress, positivity, journalism for good

Vicky Kapur (From the Executive Editor's Desk)
Filed on January 1, 2020 | Last updated on January 1, 2020 at 05.33 am
Happy News Year: Progress, positivity, journalism for good

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KT has had a Happiness Editor on our rolls since 2015 whose job it is to scout for and showcase constructive journalism.

In my first column of the year (the decade, really), I'd like to take a critical look at a profession that impacts both you and I. Journalism. The earliest examples of journalism included cave paintings. Its evolution has seen myriad forms and some believe it has come a full circle: paper/print, radio, television, digital, social and back to cave images (a.k.a. emojis). There is a growing body of opinion, misplaced as it is, that believes that journalism is becoming irrelevant and overshadowed by the digital platforms and the two-way social media correspondence. It may be getting poorer, figuratively and literally, but journalism remains far more relevant today than it has ever been in the past. I've written this, you're reading it. The proof is in the pudding. Journalism impacts us both.

Indulge me, therefore, and take a hard, penetrating look at the degenerative metastasis that media is undergoing, the dearth of good journalism and journalism for good, the fight against the phenomenon of falsehoods and fake news, the grudging acceptance that so-called collaboration has found in the newsroom, and how it may play out this year and in years to follow. It's a sad but precise observation that bad news sells. 'If it bleeds, it leads' has been the mantra for media for far too long now. We may not be in a position to change that overnight, but at Khaleej Times, we've been chipping away at it whenever we can with whatever force we can. KT has had a Happiness Editor on our rolls since 2015 whose job it is to scout for and showcase constructive journalism.

Discerning readers may realise the difference. Our stories and their presentation often try to highlight the silver lining instead of the dark cloud that is there for everyone to see. The stories, therefore, may be headlined '92 survive plane crash' instead of '17 die in a plane crash'. We can't change the nature of the events of the day, but we can help our audience start it on an affirmative note. We aspire to be the 'good news newspaper' from the UAE. In that spirit, starting tomorrow, we'll be taking another small step this year, consciously dedicating a small yet conspicuous space in our print and digital platforms to positive, inspiring stories every day of the year. Let me know what you think of it. Here's wishing you a Happy News Year.

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