Journalism should create awareness of shortcomings

TEHRAN, Aug. 08 (MNA) – In an interview with MNA on the occasion of Journalist Day in Iran, Spanish journalist Jordi Joan Baños said Journalism should create awareness of shortcomings while exploring ways ahead.

In the age of information and technology, the journalist as a means of information provider certainly plays a vital and undeniable role. In today's world, despite the advanced and numerous communication technologies in the rapid access to various information and resources, as well as the conflicts that are clearly prevalent in most parts of the globe, obtaining accurate and reliable information is possible only through journalists and reporters.

Journalists, who are one of the key figures in this important issue, must accept the many dangers to find out the truth of the issue and convey it to the people.

In 1978, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) also adopted declarations on the role of the mass media in promoting world peace and international understanding. In this declaration, the necessity of moral and social education of journalists was presented.

Mordad 17 in the Iranian calendar corresponding with August 8 has been designated as Journalist Day in Iran to commemorate the martyrdom of Iranian journalist Mahmoud Saremi who was martyred along with eight members of the Consulate General of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Afghanistan on August 8, 1988.

Journalism should create awareness of shortcomings
Iranian reporters & Former Iranian Vice President Es'hagh Jahangiri. 3 February 2021

To know more about the role of journalists in society, we reached out to Spanish journalist Jordi Joan Baños. Jordi, 50, studied journalism, scriptwriting and aesthetics and started working in the cultural area of La Vanguardia daily. Later on, he has worked for La Vanguardia as a correspondent in Lisbon, Delhi and Istanbul.

Following is the text of the interview with him in which Jordi shared his views and experiences with us:

Journalist Day is celebrated on August 8 in Iran. Is Journalist day commemorated in your country, too?

I was not aware there was a Journalist's day in Spain, but there is, on January 24, because of Francis de Sales, patron saint of writers and journalists, although this is quite a secular-minded profession and, as usual, journalists would be working that day too (Christmas and January 1st being the rare exceptions).

By the way, Journalists' day falls on a different day in Mexico and still on another day in Argentina and other Spanish speaking countries for reasons unknown to me. 

Given that there is no International Journalist Day in the world, what is your suggestion for having such a world day, considering the importance of the role of journalists?

There is no need for a global day of journalists, politicians or priests since these are professions with a weekly if the not daily window to vent their views or anger. 

Journalism should create awareness of shortcomings
   Journalist wearing PRESS helmet documents protest in Paris, France, against global security law. 28 November 2020

What do you think are the difficulties of working as a journalist?

Even big countries like India have no serious network of correspondents, working neither for public or private media, so their worldview depends largely on a few Western countries. It's a neocolonial situation, with a one-way flow of information, that was already denounced at the UN in the 1970s.

Four or five decades later, on the one hand, the world is more and more connected and social sites give the impression that we can know everything, from everywhere, just now. Actually, the global discourse is framed by an ever-smaller handful of sources and even countries like France or Spain are struggling to keep a network of correspondents, through both public news agencies and TV's and private dailies, while others like Italy or Portugal have basically given up.

When you cannot see the world through your own eyes, a loss of sovereignty follows and particular interests or demonizations are presented as nothing short of a global truth without a challenge.  

Given the many trips you have made to different parts of the world as a journalist so far, which country has caught your eye? Why?

Asia in general, which I got to see through a certain historical glass because of a previous stint in Lisbon. India in particular because of its never-ending toughness, diversity and interest. I would add Sri Lanka and Burma because trying to make sense of why a natural paradise became a nightmare justifies the sheer existence of journalism. 

Journalism should create awareness of shortcomings
Jordi Joan Baños in Istanbul, Turkey

Have you ever traveled to Iran? 

Unfortunately, I have never made it to Iran as yet, which is the missing link between my long experience in India/Pakistan and now Turkey. I hope I will be able to visit in the future its many brilliant layers of civilisation, from Avestic times to Shia Islam, in places like Isfahan or Shiraz, including the Zoroastrian traces, which I kindly followed from Karachi to Bombay. 

As a journalist, how do you see the importance of the media in affecting world affairs and the decisions of high-ranking officials?

Unfortunately, I am skeptical when it comes to the role of journalism as a source of short term changes. When it happens, it is mostly a tool used by non-journalistic actors.

Journalism should always work for the long term good -in creating awareness of shortcomings while exploring ways ahead- otherwise it risks becoming a propaganda tool. Last but not least, a good article is not only its content but the way it is told.

Interview by Zahra Mirzafarjouyan

News Code 177034


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