I am fortunate to know a peace journalist who works in media advocacy. When I spoke to him about my new yoga therapy classes at the NGOs, he wrote an article and sent it off to his contacts. One prominent paper in India picked it up:
Working in the development field as a journalist is not an easy field. It requires satya, the first of the ethical guidelines of yoga. Satya is truth.
It may be difficult for a journalist to incorporate satya into fieldwork. Sometimes there are political and legal issues at stake, and other times, there is personal reputation or bias at stake. Lately, a series of pictures have been floating around on email and facebook that show how different media groups show different parts of the whole, skewing the viewer’s ideas.
Here is the series:
How can we use yoga to ensure our journalistic work is done with truth?
Remember Gandhi’s crusade for satya-graha, insistence on truth. When in the field, use satyagraha to resolve a conflict about how to represent the truth in media. In this, there is a lot to be said about new social media such as blogs, facebook, twitter, mobile applications, and other sources, which may, due to non-partisanship, provide a different version of the truth.
As a consumer, outside the media, one can decide how much to take in from any given media source. I personally choose to use a few reputable newsmedia outlets for basic information, then interact with friends from a given region for more on-the-ground detail. I always try to bear in mind that each gives adifferent perspective, and all are part of the same larger truth. There may be a conflict among the views, and Gandhi would ask us to resolve the conflict by seeking the higher truth.
By cultivating an attitude of satya, one can look beyond the journalism and know that the truth is found within the conflict, and by seeking the truth, find peace.