The role of journalism in society is majorly to serve as a watchdog, inform the public at large, and make those in power answerable. It is a crucial pillar of a functioning democracy, providing ordinary people with the information they need to take well informed decisions and participate in a healthy democratic set up. In addition, journalism also serves as a platform for weak and marginalized voices to be heard. By giving platform to those who might otherwise be overlooked or silenced, journalists ensure social justice for all.
Story of Mrityunjay Chaubey
Mrityunjay Chaubey, a co founder of The Youth is known for the work he has done for marginalised people in India. He started his career as a sports journalist and got a chance to meet a great many cricket legends. His deep interest in research based work led him to join defence news where he worked as a researcher and columnist. Several stories that he wrote did the rounds on the social media and were read by millions. He received threats from Pakistani users for comparing their Armed forces with their Indian counterparts. Mrityunjay Chaubey fought against prevailing corruption during the Covid lockdown when the marginalised section of society was struggling for food. As per news reports, Free distribution of ration was ensured by the central government; however existing corruption prevented the poor from getting their share at the ration centres.
Mrityunjay Chaubey- Co-founder at The Youth
With the help of his senior journalist, Salil Gewali, Mrityunjay brought the matter to the knowledge of the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution. The ministry issued immediate orders to all the district collectors to ensure that electronic weight machines be used by the distributors, instead of the traditional scale. Mrityunjay also helps the weak and poor by becoming their voice and raising the relevant issues. In many cases he fought the government and administration so that their voice was heard. He has interviewed several Ministers, government officers, Journalists and bollywood stars. Talking to him, Actress Payal Rohatgi confessed she had gone through the casting couch in the film industry. The interview had gone viral on social media.
One excerpt of his conversation with Senior DD News journalist Ashok Shrivastava went viral on social media in which he replied to New Delhi Television or NDTV’s popular journalist Ravish Kumar, who loves bashing Indian media houses that do not act according to their ideology. He used derogatory slurs like Godi Media to illustrate that the channels are working for the government. The DD journalist revealed that one of the NDTV channels was launched from the prime minister office during the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) regime. He was referring to NDTV Profit which was launched in 2005. Launching of a channel in the prime minister office when, Manmohan Singh was in charge, depicts how close ties the channel had with the then party in power.
Furthermore NDTV journalists were never seen asking tough questions to the government till 2014. They started questioning the establishment when the Bhartiya Jamata Party (BJP) came to power. After the interview of Mrityunjay with Journalist Shrivastava went viral on the internet, Ravish and his fellow journalists stopped bashing other media groups. The interview worked as a mirror and pushed them to introspect.
UP elections coverage
During Uttar Pradesh Assembly Elections 2022, Mrityunjay travelled across the state for more than 70 days to understand the mood of the state. He talked to ordinary people, rickshaw pullers, workers, smiths, artisans, painters, nearly all the professionals of north India and tried to become their voice. He also talked to hundreds of social workers and politicians of almost all the parties to understand the opinion of the locals. He found that caste is a big factor in sealing the fate of a politician in North Indian elections however over the past few years the young generation began rising above their caste. For example many Yadav youths supported the BJP against the general notion that the Yadav community is the vote bank of the Samajwadi Party (SP).
“Such a change came about due to social media and easy availability of information on mobile. The previous generations thoroughly relied on the information provided by the mainstream media but today people are virtually connected to each other and can instantly share information with their friends sitting far away in the world. The fading reliability of the mainstream media has rattled the journalists who are accused of building and controlling the narratives of India,” says Mrityunjay Chaubey.
“When I talked to people in Kashi, I was stunned by their copious optimism which they developed after witnessing infrastructural development in the city. The locals have become sanguine about politics which was not liked by the youth previously. It is indeed a positive change in our country. Varanasi which is the constituency of Prime Minister Modi, is going through a paradigm shift as far as the progress of the city is concerned. The city which is known for its rich history and culture and has the potential to draw tourists in millions however many tourist spots were considered to have fallen into decay. The works in recent years have lit their hopes,” he adds