Open UP: # 135

I grew up in a family that inculcated values like standing up for the truth and being true to yourself. I always wanted to be a journalist and pursued it with all my energy. I graduated top of my class with a gold medal. I worked as a journalist for 8 years. Though the work was heavy, involved risks and thankless hours that took toll on my family and life, I persisted. Getting the truth out was the only goal. I was enjoying it until on day all my belief system came crumbling down.

During my investigation for a story I found out that the local political leader was involved in a major drug racket and collected enough proof to show his role and his goons. I took all the data and gave it to my editor with a scathing cover story that would blow up the masks of few local leaders and a cabinet minister of the state. We were excited about this and it was going to be the break of my lifetime. I submitted everything and left to go home at 3 AM. The next morning, when I woke up and saw the paper there was no story! I rushed to my office and found that somehow the story was leaked to the goons brother who managed to remove the story from the print. Our entire news team got threats, family was harassed and I was transferred to far flung areas to keep us in tracks. I was heartbroken and didn’t realize what just happened. Not even the cops could help.

Journalism is an easy job. True journalism is as risky as being at the border in the army. But when you are true to yourself and want to keep up your conscience, you are ready to risk everything. I quit that publication and am working on my own now. Yes. We eventually published the story but nothing happened. It was just swept away as just an allegation. But I didn’t lose hope. I am doing what best I can do – breaking real stories that matter.”

#OpenUP #TalkToTiger #JournalismisRisky #ProudJournalist
Identity concealed for privacy.

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