Strength for Today and Bright Hope for Tomorrow

Volume 12 : 12 December 2012
ISSN 1930-2940

Managing Editor: M. S. Thirumalai, Ph.D.
Editors: B. Mallikarjun, Ph.D.
         Sam Mohanlal, Ph.D.
         B. A. Sharada, Ph.D.
         A. R. Fatihi, Ph.D.
         Lakhan Gusain, Ph.D.
         Jennifer Marie Bayer, Ph.D.
         S. M. Ravichandran, Ph.D.
         G. Baskaran, Ph.D.
         L. Ramamoorthy, Ph.D.
Assistant Managing Editor: Swarna Thirumalai, M.A.


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M K Gandhi’s Satyagrahi Model of Journalistic Ethics

Dr. Radheshyam Jadhav, M.A, M.J.C, Ph.D.


Ethics is branch of philosophy concerned with actions that are morally permissible and actions that are not. Ethics in media constitutes a normative science of conduct applied voluntarily. Satyagrahi model of journalistic ethics could help to establish the lost credibility of journalism and journalists and could pave the way for development communication for the development of deprived. Throughout his life mission Gandhi treated newspaper and journalism as a responsibility and not mere communication or profit making business. Reader’s voice mattered most for Gandhi. Indian Opinion and all his newspapers were tools of communication for change and for development of deprived masses who struggled against the structures of oppression. Truth, accuracy, objectivity, fairness, balance and impartiality are the basic premise of Satyagrahi journalistic ethics. Gandhi’s self restrain mantra is relevant in today’s journalism when media ethics debate revolves round the infotainment media, stereotypes, depiction of violence, sex, vulgarity, privacy, right to reply, communal writing, sensational and yellow journalism, freebies and sting operations. Gandhi was of the opinion that newspaper should not be used as means of earning livelihood or profit. Satyagrahi journalism stands for popular participatory process of sustainable social- spiritual- material advancement for emancipation and empowerment. Satyagraha was weapon to the deprived masses and Satyagrahi journalism an alternative model of development communication. Selfishness, anger, lack of faith, or impatience have no room while infinite patience, firm resolve, single mindedness of purpose, perfect calm are essential qualities for Satyagrahi journalist. He emphasised the role of spirituality in the development and communication process. People’s communication and mediums could re-energize Gandhian Satyagrahi journalism.


The word ‘ethics’ is closely linked to questions of appropriate conduct within society. Etymological meaning of ‘ethics’ goes back to the Greek ‘ethos’ meaning reliable character, virtuous people and proper conduct etc. Ethics is branch of philosophy concerned with actions that are morally permissible and actions that are not. Ethics in media constitutes a normative science of conduct applied voluntarily. World over efforts have been made to set ethical guidelines, rules, norms, codes and principles to help journalists to make right choice when they are in dilemma. This research paper is an effort to carve out a Satyagrahi model of journalistic ethics on the backdrop of Gandhian concept of Satyagraha that evolved in South Africa with ‘Indian Opinion’ playing a major role to devise it.

This is only the beginning part of the article. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE IN PRINTER-FRIENDLY VERSION.

Dr. Radheshyam Jadhav, M.A., M.J.C., Ph.D.
Network for Sustainable Development and Communication Research
B-2, Flat- 13, Arunodaya Society, Katraj- Kondhwa Road, Katraj
Pune- 411046

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