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Scholar-Journalist of the Week: ‘Are your sources of news reliable and trustworthy?

This week’s scholar-journalist, Harish Patil aspires to become a business journalist in the future and create awareness about financial literacy among those living in marginalised communities



Harish Patil, second-year journalism student at Apeejay Stya University, aspires to help the needy in this society. And so, the 20-year-old decided to pursue journalism with a goal of spreading awareness about financial literacy among people of his country. When asked why it’s important to spread financial literacy awareness? He replied, “The poor people living in marginalised communities are not very financially literate. There isn’t 100% awareness. In our country, rich people are becoming richer and poor people poorer. In fact, as per a report by Pew Research Centre, India’s middle class population has shrunk by 32 million and has driven 75 million below the poverty line in 2020. I want my country to grow. India has great potential to grow, it’s already walking on that path. I want to bring a change and contribute to the development of this middle class population. I want to make them financially literate so that this country can develop exponentially in the future.” 

Aspiring to become a business journalist in the future, in this interview he talks about his recent writeup on ‘Are your sources of news reliable and trustworthy?’ Read on:

Your article has received great views on our platform. What inspired you to write on this topic?

Today’s condition of the Indian media and the level of innocence, ignorance of the readers/viewers while consuming the content online or offline delivered by Indian media is the reason why I decided to write on this topic.

How can a reader tell if an article is fake? 

By verifying using fact checking websites and apps like Alt news.

Are memes, unverified advertisements and social media propagated rumours adding to the spread of fake news? 

Yes, of course! Memes, unverified advertisements and social media propagated rumours are the biggest sources of fake news. Because these sources are unverified and so, they play a great role in spreading fake news. Misuse of social media for spreading fake news and instigating violence is the biggest drawback of social media. 

In this digital era, can people trust and depend on social media as a news source?

Social media cannot be trusted as a whole. In fact, many times, people who receive news from social media platforms consume it with skepticism.  They take into consideration certain factors to decide if a particular news/story can be trusted. Some of them are their perceptions of the original news source and also the person who posted the item. I would say one can trust selective sources, social media handles of renowned media houses who practice ethical journalism.

Coming to your interest in writing – when did this journey start?

To be honest, my journey of writing began last year when I joined Apeejay Stya University to pursue my journalism course.

And what does writing mean to you? Any key learnings so far?

Writing is a way to express and present my views and the knowledge I gather to the public. Articulation is something which I am learning through writing. 

Being a journalism student, how do you work towards improving your writing as well as storytelling skills?

I try my best to articulate well. I try to improve my vocabulary and try to write a piece that can catch the attention of readers. I follow the inverted pyramid style most of the time while writing. Most importantly, I follow whatever my mentors say to improve my writing and art of storytelling.

What kind of articles/books do you enjoy writing and reading?

I stick to finance, especially the stock market, as it’s my area of interest. I read books related to that subject such as ‘Reminiscences of a Stock Operator ‘ , ‘The Scam’, The Richest Man in Babylon ‘, etc.

Which was the last book that you read?

The last book I read was ‘The Scam‘. 

What are your future plans?

I want to become a business journalist. But before that I will be doing my postgraduate program from National Institute of Securities Markets, Mumbai, followed by Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and Chartered Market Technician programmes. I will be working in the industry simultaneously just for experience, if I get any opportunity.

Harshita is Assistant Editor at Apeejay newsroom. With experience in both the Media and Public Relations (PR) world, she has worked with Careers360, India Today and Value360 Communications. A learner by nature, she is a foodie, traveller and believes in having a healthy work-life balance.