Need to know one’s duties well

The Prime Minister at the 26th Meet the Press programme in Thimphu said that the Constitution gives us the right to freedom of expression but that right does not mean we can undermine others’ rights. It is a simple yet powerful statement, which we think should help people who in the recent weeks have launched themselves onto kinds and levels of formal and informal debates, understand how to exercise their rights in a manner proper and becoming of responsible citizens. What is important is that we know when to speak and when not to.

Media have a serious mandate and the professionals in the industry should know how well workwise to respect and execute their duties. Perhaps it is time we the media and the young professionals in the industry took stock of the things. Yes, our job is to report about things that are going wrong in the society with the confidence that we could contribute to a healthy debate and effect desirable change. All true journalists walk into the profession with this belief. What they become in the end is a different story altogether. Almost always it is the way the systems work that compels them to sidestep their mandate.

Arguments could be about anything, but how rightly they are put into perspective, matters. But, more importantly, we need to know how to take the debates forward. Otherwise, our debates will not be healthy and that in no way will help build our society. What we must remember is that although the Constitution gives us the right to freedom, we have no right to undermine others’ rights.

We are living in an exciting time in the history of our nation. With the advent of social media, it has become by much easier for us to throw in our views and to vent out our feelings about anything, some that doesn’t even remotely concern our lives. Because using social media has both advantages and disadvantages, we have guidelines to tell us what we can do and what we must refrain from doing on the social media. Often we do not think what weight our posts and comments could carry. Implications could be far-reaching.

As citizens, it is incumbent on us to abide by the laws of the land and, more importantly, we need to know our duties well.

1 reply
  1. irfan
    irfan says:

    The Prime Minister is indeed very right in what he has said. Responsibility within our rights to expression is a duty that no media can afford to overlook. And at times, the situations probably also demand to respect silence in many ways.

    But this post also mentions young professionals and journalism. They enter the field learning a few things very well and all of them continue to work hard so that even we learn things from media through their works. After all it’s no easy a job to create a constructive debate all the time. And even I have a point to debate here.

    There was a moment in my life when I had time to consider a certified course in journalism. But the unfortunate experience for me was that I didn’t have the options being an Engineering graduate with a science and technology background. I was in a suitable position to become a writer, but not a certified professional journalist.

    I am not sure about Universities abroad; but in our institutions where journalism is offered as a course to be studied, the preferences are always with those coming from an Arts background. Many courses on ‘Mass Communications and Journalism’ still looks for Arts graduates mainly in the field of Literature or other subjects like Political Science or Sociology.

    My whole point here is should journalism be considered a closed subject for those from science, technical, law, engineering and technological or any other non-Arts or even Arts related professional courses! In today’s time when even journalism is considered as any other professional job and media houses do look for Certified Journalists, we only see one set of young professionals entering this highly complex field of work.

    But when it comes to consumers, we always have a big mix of all professions and qualifications. Social media is another beautiful example where part of these consumers start to contribute a bit to the other side as well. And whenever consumers become the producers in any way, we always expect that we know our duties well. So even as pure consumers we must know our duties well…what to consume and what needs to be avoided for a reason.

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