A senior journalist, who was recently caught in the Radia tapes lobbying along with some other journalists for some important persons vis-à-vis 2G spectrum controversy, admitted what they did was “utterly unprofessional.”
The draft report of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), which went into the spectrum allocation deal, claimed under the heading “role of media and whistleblowers”: “When the committee sought the response of a senior journalist about these taped conversations, he candidly deposed that what they [journalists] did was utterly unprofessional. He conceded that journalists do speak to various sources as it is their job to fathom out and reveal the truth, but they ought not to get involved in lobbying for anyone, and certainly the taped conversations show that they transgressed the line of propriety – the ‘Lakshman Rekha.'”
The report went on to state that, more so, senior journalists as they were, they knew when they made such a transgression. The committee believed that no journalist who valued self-reputation, credibility and treasured the freedom of the media would ever indulge in an act incompatible with the professional norms of journalistic conduct.
The PAC appreciated the “exemplary professional job” done by some journalists, including those belonging to a news magazine, for exposing the 2G spectrum allocation irregularities.
It also congratulated the whistleblowers for their role in exposing the scam and recommended that “being the willing and selfless benefactors of the nation, the whistleblowers be extended appropriate and effective statutory protection from harassment, intimidation, demotion, physical or financial harm etc as an integral part of the multi-pronged strategy to bring greater transparency and probity in the conduct of public affairs.”