CONTEMPT OF COURT: BANGLADSH PERSPECTIVE

Preface

Contempt of court is a challenging part of judiciary as well as journalism. It should be noted that there is a third freedom of expression issue related to the contempt of court doctrine when a journalist is held in contempt for refusing to obey a court order to disclose a source. The assignment mainly focuses on the ‘contempt of court, its categories, nature, problems, restrictions, protest against High Court verdicts in Bangladesh and so on’.

To complete the assignment I follow and use different secondary sources such as Books, Journals, Research papers.

I am optimistic that the assignment will able to reach its success.

INTRODUCTION

The law of contempt of court that has developed in Bangladesh and other parts of the sub-continent is more suppressive than that found in the United Kingdom and other common law countries. The current legislation, the Contempt of Court Act 1926, fails to strike a balance between protection of judiciary and freedom of expression. It is generally felt that the 1926 Act has been used more to protect judges from justified criticism and public scrutiny.

The courts are one of the most fundamental institutions where power is contested in a constitutional democracy. A functioning and an independent judiciary can restrain and hold the executive accountable together with other state institutions, as well as political and economic elites. A robust judiciary is imperative in establishing rule-based governance. In November 2007, the subordinate judiciary in Bangladesh was formally separated from the executive.

CONTEMPT OF COURT

Contempt of court is a court order which in the context of a court trial or hearing, declares a person or organization to have disobeyed or been disrespectful of the court‘s authority. Often referred to simply as “contempt,” such as a person “held in contempt,” it is the judge‘s strongest power to impose sanctions for acts that disrupt the court’s normal process. [01]

Contempt of court is the area of law which deals with behavior which might affect court proceedings. It takes many different forms, ranging from disrupting court hearings to disobeying court orders to publishing prejudicial information which might make the trial unfair. If someone commits a contempt of court, they can be punished, although the procedures for deciding whether they are guilty and for punishing them are currently different from those used for normal crimes.

HIGH COURT REVOKES CONTEMPT OF COURTS ACT

The High Court has annulled the Contempt of Courts Act, 2013 saying that the law was enacted only to protect journalists and public servants. The government will challenge the verdict, a deputy attorney general said. The bench of Justice Quazi Reza-Ul Hoque and Justice ABM Altaf Hossain delivered the verdict in response to a writ petition filed challenging eight provisions of the law. The court said as the sections 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11 and 13(2) of the Act were contrary to the constitution, so the whole statute was unconstitutional, and it had no legal effect.

The Act was enacted on February 22 this year replacing the law of 1926 in the wake of huge demand from the journalists and public servants. The law stipulates that publishing “objective and unbiased reports” on the court proceedings and fair comment on a judgment should not be contempt of court. In this regard, the High Court said: “Criticism must be within the periphery of some limits, since total freedom without restriction leads to chaos.”

Referring to article 27 of the constitution, the court Thursday said it was surprising that the provision to protect the journalists in the Act “totally disregards all other citizens of the nation.” The constitutional provision says: “All citizens are equal before law and entitled to equal protection of law.”[02]

CONTEMPT IN THE FACE OF THE COURT

Contempt in the face of the court concerns misbehavior, usually in the courtroom itself that disrupts or shows disrespect towards the court or challenges the authority of the court. However, there is no precise legal definition of contempt in the face of the court.

Examples of contempt in the face of the court include:

(1) Assaulting anyone in court;

(2) Insulting the judge in court;

(3) Wearing offensive clothing or not wearing any clothing at all in court;

(4) Refusing to answer a question when ordered to do so by the judge; and

(5) Creating a disturbance elsewhere (such as in the corridor outside the courtroom) so that the court hearing is disturbed. [03]

CONTEMPT BY PUBLICATION

Contempt by publication is needed to protect the system of justice, including the right to a fair trial. This is because, in a criminal case, the jury should reach its verdict based only on the evidence which has been heard in court. Any information which the jury discovers from outside the courtroom will not have been examined by the parties and the judge. This could mean that this information which a juror relies on is mistaken or untrue. There are no reports of this order being made in the case of contempt by publication. This may be because it is unclear whether the Divisional Court can make this order once it has found the publisher guilty of contempt. [03]

REPORTING RESTRICTIONS

Under the Contempt of Court Act 1981, a “fair and accurate” report of what has happened in court is allowed and cannot be contempt, provided the hearing was in public and the report was published around the same time as the hearing took place.

So, for example, if the television news at 10pm describes what the witnesses in a murder trial said in open court that day, this will not be contempt. After all, it is important for the public to know what is happening in the legal system. [03]

INTERNATIONAL LAW AND STANDARD

Before examining the legal framework regulating freedom of expression and the administration of justice in different countries, it is useful to look at their status under international law.

The major international and regional human rights instruments on civil and political rights — the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), the American Convention on Human Rights (ACHR), and the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR) — all protect both freedom of expression and the administration of justice. Freedom of expression is protected in Article 19 of the ICCPR as follows:

Everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference.

Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice.

The administration of justice, particularly the right to a fair trial and the presumption of innocence, is protected in Article 14 of the ICCPR, which states, in part:

(1) All persons shall be equal before the courts and tribunals. In the determination of any criminal charge against him, or of his rights and obligations in a suit at law, everyone shall be entitled to a fair and public hearing by a competent, independent and impartial tribunal established by law. The press and the public may be excluded from all or part of a trial for reasons of morals, public order or national security in a democratic society, or when the interest of the private lives of the Parties so requires, or to the extent strictly necessary in the opinion of the court in special circumstances where publicity would prejudice the interests of justice; but any judgment rendered in a criminal case or in a suit at law shall be made public except where the interest of juvenile persons otherwise requires or the proceedings concern matrimonial disputes or guardianship of children.

(2) Everyone charged with a criminal offence shall have the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law. The permissible restrictions on freedom of expression are expressed in similar terms in the international and regional instruments, but the ECHR is more explicit than the others in setting out the protection of the administration of justice as a legitimate exception. [04]

SENTENCING

The maximum punishment for all types of contempt is two years in prison or an unlimited fine. Community sentences, such as unpaid work, are not available.

Additionally, a “third party costs order” can be made which requires a publisher to pay the costs incurred if the proceedings were prejudiced or impeded by the contempt.

Punishment can be imposed on both the journalist and the media organisation (for example, the newspaper as a whole can be fined), although it is rare for the individual journalist to be punished. No-one has been sent to prison for contempt by publication for over 60 years. The usual sentence is a fine and the court will calculate it by looking at things such as the seriousness of the contempt and the resources of the publisher. [04]

THE PROBLEMS WE ADDRESS

In summary, the main problems with the law in this area are as follows:

(1) There is a lack of clarity about some areas of the law. The behavior must be deliberate, but it is not clear whether the person accused of the contempt must also have intended to disrupt the court proceedings. For example, they might do something deliberately, but not realise that doing it would disrupt the court. It is not clear whether that would be a contempt.

(2) It is odd that section 12 does not include powers to deal with a person threatening anyone in the courtroom as contempt in the face of the court, given that it does include powers to deal with insults and interruptions.

(3) Contempt in the face of the court is dealt with differently by different courts. So, there is inconsistency – for example, section 12 only applies in the magistrates’ court, not in the Crown Court, where the common law applies.

(4) It is unclear how the right to liberty is protected and what the law on bail is for someone accused of contempt.

(5) It is not clear which rules of evidence apply to a contempt hearing.

(6) The sentence is limited to prison or a fine with no community sentence, such as unpaid work, available. It is unclear whether the magistrates can impose a suspended prison sentence.

(7) Some people have concerns about the impact of new technology on the law of contempt by publication. The rise of social media and so-called citizen journalism on the internet means that there is the potential for “everyone to be a publisher”.

(8) It is not clear whether the courts would treat social networking sites, such as Face book and Twitter, as publications to the public or a section of the public – it might depend on whether the users have turned on their privacy settings so their posting or tweet can only be viewed by a limited number of people. [05]

INTERNATIONAL CRIMES TRIBUNAL (BANGLADESH)

BANGLADESH suffered a violent birth. In the last days of 1971 the country then called East Pakistan was engulfed by torture, rape, mass-killing and other acts of genocide. The main perpetrators were Pakistani troops bent on preventing secession from “West Pakistan”. But the army had the support of many of East Pakistan’s fundamentalist groups, including Jamaat-e-Islami, which remains Bangladesh’s largest Islamic party. In 2010 Bangladesh established a tribunal to try those accused of war crimes. It is called the International Crimes Tribunal, though it is not an international court in the sense of being founded on international law. Rather it is a national court, based on a Bangladeshi statute passed in 1973 and amended in 2009 and 2012. It was very late to begin the search for justice, for the accused as well as for victims. But war crimes are subject to no statute of limitation. [06]

The International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) is a war crimes tribunal in Bangladesh set up in 2009 to investigate and prosecute suspects for the genocide committed in 1971 by the Pakistan Army and their local collaborators, Razakars, Al-Badr and Al-Shams during the Bangladesh Liberation War. During the 2008 general election, the Awami League (AL) pledged to establish the tribunals in response to long-demanded popular calls for trying war criminals. The first indictments were issued in 2010.

The government set up the tribunal after the Awami League won the general election in December 2008 with more than two-thirds majority in parliament. The War Crimes Fact Finding Committee, tasked to investigate and find evidence, completed its report in 2008, identifying 1600 suspects. Prior to the formation of the ICT, the United Nations Development Programme offered assistance in 2009 on the tribunal’s formation. In 2009 the parliament amended the 1973 act that authorized such a tribunal to update it. [07]

REACTIONS

Human Rights Watch initially supported the establishment of the tribunal and recommended amendments to the 1973 law. The government already had planned to update the law, and proceeded in consultation with experts.

When the tribunal was being planned, Stephen Rapp, the United States Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues, said that the “US government will help Bangladesh hold an open and transparent war crimes trial with the rights of defense for the accused.”

A Wikileaks leaked cable in November 2010 from the US State Department said, “There is little doubt that hard-line elements within the ruling party [AL] believe that the time is right to crush Jamaat and other Islamic parties.”

Bangladeshi opposition political parties have demanded the release of those held, claiming the arrests are politically motivated. Shafique Ahmed, the Minister of Law and Justice, disagrees, saying, “No one is being arrested or tried on religious or political grounds.”

Some human rights advocates are concerned that the mass rapes and killings of women may not be fully addressed in the prosecutions.

A conservative Muslim society has preferred to throw a veil of negligence and denial on the issue, allowed those who committed or colluded with gender violence to thrive, and left the women victims to struggle in anonymity and shame and without much state or community support.

The Bangladeshi government has dismissed criticisms of the legal provisions and fairness of the tribunal. Shafique Ahmed, the Minister of Law and Justice, said, “There is no scope for questioning the fairness and standard of the ongoing trial for war crimes during the Liberation War in 1971.”

In March 2013, the Economist criticized the tribunal, mentioning government interference, restrictions on public discussion, not enough time allocated for the defense, the kidnapping of a defense witness and the judge resigning due to controversy over his neutrality. [07]

ACCUSED AND VERDICTS

Abul Kalam Azad, a nationally known Islamic cleric and former member of Jamaat, was charged with genocide, rape, abduction, confinement and torture. He was tried in absentia after having fled the country. In January 2013 Azad was the first suspect to be convicted in the trials; he was found guilty of seven of eight charges and sentenced to death by hanging.

On February 5, 2013, the ICT sentenced Abdul Quader Mollah, assistant secretary of Jamaat, to life imprisonment. Mollah was convicted on five of six counts of crimes against humanity and war crimes. He was accused of shooting 344 people and the rape of an 11 year old girl.

On 28 February 2013, Delwar Hossain Sayeedi, the deputy of Jamaat, was found guilty of genocide, rape and religious persecution. He was sentenced to death by hanging.

Violence with police & protest Jamaat-e-ishlami(left), Sayeedi on Tribunal(right)

Muhammad Kamaruzzaman was indicted on 7 June 2012 on 7 counts of crimes against humanity. On 9 May 2013 he was convicted and given the death penalty on five counts of mass killings, rape, torture and kidnapping.

On 3 November 2013, the International Crimes Tribunal sentenced Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin to death after the tribunal found him guilty of torture and murder of 18 intellectuals during 1971 Liberation war of Bangladesh.

Ghulam Azam was found guilty by the ICT on five counts. Incitement, conspiracy, planning, abetment and failure to prevent murder. He was sentenced on 15 July 2013 to 90 years imprisonment.

Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed sentenced to death by hanging on 17 July, 2013.

Prior to the verdict, Jamaat members called a general strike in Dhaka in protest of the trials, which it said were politically motivated. Violence erupted in the course of this. [o7]

JAMAAT-SHIBIR’S VIOLENCE &PROTESTS

Jamaat-e-Islami supporters and their student wing, Islami Chhatra Shibir, called a general strike nationwide on December 4, 2012, which erupted in violence. They have demanded the tribunal be scrapped permanently and their leaders be released immediately.

Shibir, the student wing of Jamaat, led violent protests against the trials beginning with a general strike on December 4, 2012; they attacked police officers throughout the country. Shafique Ahmed was also attacked, in a skirmish which resulted in three police officers being injured.[43] Numerous vehicles, including one of the US embassies in Dhaka, were torched and vandalized. In another incident, police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at the activists. One Jamaat-e-Islami activist was killed and scores were injured when police used live ammunition against the protesters during clashes in December 2012. The activists were demanding the release of Miah Golam Parwar, Delawar Hossain Sayedee and other party members being tried. [07]

GANOJAGORON MANCHA

After Abdul Quader Molla, assistant secretary general of Jamaat, was convicted in February 2013 and sentenced to life imprisonment rather than capital punishment, a peaceful demonstration started at Shahbag intersection in Dhaka. Tens of thousands of mostly young demonstrators, including women, have called for the death penalty for those convicted of war crimes. Non-violent protests supporting this position have occurred in other cities as the country closely follows the trials.

Ganojagoron Mancha sought for death penalty of all war criminals

Following the verdict, large-scale, non-violent protests started on 5 February 2013 in Dhaka, with demonstrators calling for the death penalty for Mollah and any others convicted of war crimes. Tens of thousands of people filled the Shahbag intersection, with more coming in the days following. Activists of Ganojagaran Mancha, burst into demonstrates soon after the International Crimes Tribunal-1 pronounced the verdict. Later, they walked in a procession to the tribunal, exulting at the judgment. The youth activists had gathered in Sahbag as per their earlier announcement to stage a sit-in there, demanding death penalty for the war criminal.

The protest has spread to other parts of the country, with sit-ins and demonstrations taking place in Chittagong, Sylhet, Barisal, Mymensingh, Khulna, Rajbari, Rajshahi, Rangpur, Sunamganj, Noakhali, Naryaongang ,Narsingdiand many other parts in Bangladesh.

STATEMENT OF A LAWYER

For better understand here give a statement of a honorable lawyer about Ganojagoron Manch as well as Jamaat Shibir on contempt of court:

What do you think about contempt of court?

Lawyer: Contempt of court refers any tasks or activities, movements, comments that influence the verdict of a court. Disobeying the court is also contempt of court.

Do you considered that Ganojagoran Mancha and Jamaat-e-islamii’s protests and activities against verdict of International Crime Tribunals are contain contempt of court?

Lawyer: As any activities, movements, comments that influence the verdict of a court is considered as contempt of court, so these are obviously fall into contempt of court.

The Ganojagoron Mancha protest peacefully against the court(ICT) verdicts for the death penalty of war criminals. The common people accept and support this activity so this is the interest of the whole people and it’s called the mass or the democratic movement.

On the other hand Jamaat-e-islami called hartal and take violence activities beyond the country ruling system to save the enemy of our country. So it’s not a mass or democratic movement for us.

  1. MAHBUB-UL ALAM (JEWELE)

LLB, LLM (LAW & JUSTICE) UNIVERSITY OF RAJSHAHI

ADVOCATE, JOURJE COURT, CHAPAI NAWABGANJ

CONCLUSION

The law of contempt is essentially concerned with interference with the administration of justice. lthough criminal contempts of court may take a variety of forms they all share a common characteristic: they involve an interference with the due administration of justice, either in a particular case or more generally as a continuing process.

As the above analysis illustrates, there is a significant tension between freedom of expression and the administration of justice because of the high public interest in maintaining and protecting both principles. There is also a clear difficulty in finding functional equivalents between the contempt of court principles which exist in common law systems and the disparate principles which exist in civil law and other jurisdictions. One hopes that this paper has demonstrated that there is both a need and a basis to develop international standards in this area.

RFERENCES

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contempt_of_court[01]

http://www.dhakatribune.com/law-amp-rights/2013/sep/26/hc-annuls-contempt-court-act-2013[02]

International Seminar on Promoting Freedom of Expression With the Three Specialized International Mandates; Hilton Hotel London, United Kingdom 29-30 November 2000 [03]

Foe-and-contempt-of-court.pdf [O4]

cp209_contempt_of_court_summary.pdf[05]

Trying war crimes in Bangladesh: The trial of the birth of a nation; The Economist; 15 December 2012[06]

judiciary – policy – note.pdf; Institution of Accountability: Judiciary Policy Note; Institute of Governance Studies BRAC University.

International_Crimes_Tribunal_(Bangladesh).htm[07]

http://bdlaws.minlaw.gov.bd/print_sections_all.php?id=140

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Qualities and Functions of a Sub-editor

Prepared by

Lalon Chandra Singh

INTRODUCTION

Editing is the most challenging fact of journalism. A good editors needs creative skills, command over the language, ideas to improve the copy, and correct judgment about how much importance should be given for a particular news item. The copy of the report has been improved by the sub-editor and is therefore easier to read and understand. Sub-editor is all about quality control in print journalism. The role varies depending on whether you are working in print, online or broadcast media. It is says that reporter write the paper (story), sub-editor make it.

EDITOR

Editor is a special post for a journalist. A person who edits a copy of a story is called an editor. An editor supervises the reporters and improves his reports for publication. An editor also plans about what to report, how to cover and the relative importance to be given to each story. Every newspaper will have a set of editors, like reporters. All editors are not of the same category. In a newspaper, the top post is that of a Chief Editor. Modern newspapers have editors for every section. The sports editor looks after sports news. The feature editor looks after the features section. Picture editors are in charge of photographers. Like that business editors look after business news etc.

SUB-EDITOR

Sub-editor is a person who collects reports from reporters and prepares the report to publish or broadcast. He also corrects and checks articles in a newspaper before they are printed. A big newspaper or magazine would employ several news/feature/sports editors assign work and edit a reporter/writers material for accuracy, content, grammar, and style.

QUALITIES OF A SUB-EDITOR

It is customary to describe desired qualities of a sub-editor separately. To be a good sub-editor one’s must be an all-rounder. The qualities that must be present in a sub-editor are listed below:

NEWS SENSE

News sense is the basic quality of newsmen. News sense is essential for a sub-editor. He has to have news sense or nose for news to distinguish news from non-news. He is the first reader of a reporter’s copy and if the reporter has made a mistake he has to correct it. A bad copy may have the most important element of the story buried in the fourth paragraph. It will be left to the sub-editor’s nose for news to bring that to the first paragraph. He should be able to compare various news values and decide where to begin his story and should not miss important details.

CLARITY

A sub-editor should have clarity of mind and expression. A person who is confused himself cannot tell a story to others. Only clarity of mind is not enough unless it is accompanied by clarity of expression. Without clarity of expression clarity of mind has no meaning. Sub-editor is the judge of clarity of the copy a good sub­editor will never allow a copy escape him unless the meaning is crystal clear. He has every right to make life miserable for a reporter who is not clear and does not write in simple language.

ALERTNESS

A sub-editor should always be alert while dealing with his subjects. Many major news breaks in the past were possible because of alertness of reporters. Scoops don’t walk into newspaper offices alert reporters catch them in air and pursue. A sub-editor has to be alert while working on news-desk. Lack of alertness of a sub-editor can be seen by readers in the morning for he will be leaving or introducing mistakes for everybody to see.

SPEED

A person who cannot work fast cannot be a good sub-editor. A sub-editor has to work with speed. He cannot sit with a copy for long. He has to do swiftly whatever is required of him for a lot more copy is waiting for him. He should think fast, decide fast and write or type fast for he has to meet deadlines or may have to go to another assignment. A slow sub-editor is a curse at the news desk and is treated with contempt. Some people are misfits in the profession.

CURIOSITY

Sub-editors should have an insatiable curiosity. This characteristic will keep on improving a sub-editor for with every passing day a curious sub­editor will have a better background to do his job the next day. Reporters and sub-editors should read as much as possible to constantly improve their awareness level.

BI-FOCAL MINDED

Sub-editor must be a bi-focal mind. By bi-focal mind we mean that a person observe a fact in two ways one from very close and other far from sight. It means that the sub-editor should have the ability to catch any mistake in a story.

When he take a copy of a story firstly he follow the visible mistakes, this is called very near mistake. For example, ‘Chapy Nobabgonj is the capital of mango in Bangladesh’ here contain spelling mistake, the correct spelling is ‘Chapai Nawabgonj’.

The second mistake is ‘The largest mangoes hut sits in Shivganj district’. Here Shivganj is not a district, it is a sub-district of Chapai Nawabgonj. The sub-editors should ability to face this type of mistake. In general sense this is called bi-focal mind.

Skepticism

It is another necessary quality which a sub­editor should cultivate. He should not take anything for granted. He should have an unwavering posture of doubt until faced with undeniable proof. Reporters should be more vigilant for many forces constantly try to use them, and through them their paper. Many people try to plant on reporters a wrong story for their own ends. Sub-editors should also be careful for some clever politicians, public relations men and product advertisers keep on trying to take them for a ride. They should not fail to check even reporters, copy for such foul play.

OBJECTIVITY

Sub-editor should aim at objectivity while dealing with a story. They should not allow their personal bias or ideas to creep into a story. They should not take sides but try to cover all the different viewpoints to achieve balance in the story.

ACCURACY

A sub-editor should strive for accuracy. He should check and re-check his facts till he is satisfied that he has them accurate. The role of a sub-editor is to check for accuracy. It is particularly important when background is involved. In the case of dates and names the reporter may rely on his memory but the sub-editor must check them from reference material available in the newspaper office. When there is a doubt he should leave it out—this is the golden rule of journalism. It is better not to say a thing than to say it wrong.

PUNCTUALITY

It is a good habit. It is always better to be punctual and then wait than reach late and ask others—a rival may misinform you or hide some important information. At the desk too punctuality pays. If a sub-editor is punctual he will be treated with respect by his co-workers. If he is late he will irritate them and spoil the working atmosphere. Besides he may have to face the problem of backlog of copy which he will have to clear under the pressure of deadline.

VAST KNOWLEDGE

All other things being equal reporters need additional qualities to deal effectively with all sorts of people they meet in the field. Sub-editors should have better command over language as they improve what reporters write. An intelligent envisioning of the future helps newsmen in general. The quality helps them in identifying processes and people who will be important in future. The sub-editors should keep up-date information and vast knowledge about home and abroad. Keep up to date with sector issues, by reading related publications. Adapt all these skills for a publication’s website.

 

CREDIBILITY

A report should be credible. Before writing or editing, the sub-editor should crosscheck the facts and figures. Mistakes can creep in when work is done in haste. It is always better to revise the copy before sending to publish or broadcast. If the story can be improved, it should be rewritten.

IMAGINATION

This basic mental faculty helps reporters in writing better stories that retain the reader’s interest. For a sub-editor this creative faculty is very useful as he can add sparkle to somebody else copy and make it lively. Besides, imaginative headlines attract the reader and improve the quality of a newspaper.

TACTFULNESS

A sub-editor should be tactful. He should have the ability to handle sensitive people and situations gracefully without causing hurt or angry feelings. He should be considerate of others and should be careful not to embarrass, upset or offend them. He should have an understanding of human behavior and emotions. This will help him in developing contacts that are so essential for news gathering & writing.

SELF-DISCIPLINE

One can achieve a degree of proficiency in sub-editing or reporting by systematic effort and self-control. In this sense self- discipline suggests dedication and firm commitment. It helps in journalism as in any other field.

CALMNESS

Sub-editors often work in trying circumstances. They have to remain calm and composed in most exciting and tragic circumstances. In many situations they have to be calm— devoid of hysterical actions or utterances and apply appropriate mental and physical effort to write or edit the story. Reporters and sub-editors are human beings. They have emotions but they have to stifle them in the face of disturbing influences—they have to develop resistance to excitability. Sub-editors should develop a temperament to work under pressure of deadlines. They should not lose their cool if they are behind the clock for calm mind can work faster.

FEARLESSNESS AND FRANKNESS

These qualities help sub-editor in asking unpleasant questions and taking risks to find out truth. Nobody gives a story on a platter. He will have to probe, question, authenticate and exercise his power of deduction to write a good story.

DILIGENCE

Sub-editors should be diligent. Their jobs require painstaking exertion of intense care and effort, alertness and dedication to the task and wary watchfulness. They have to make extremely fine distinctions while writing or editing copy a sub-editor should insist on perfection and should lose his job for he can make or impair the newspaper. These qualities are basically qualities of good and efficient human beings. Good and efficient human being makes good and efficient sub-editors and reporters.

INTEGRITY

It is a virtue in itself and implies undeviating honesty and strict adherence to a stern code of ethics. This human quality is important for journalists. It is more important for reporters for they are more exposed to temptation as compared to sub-editors.

FUNCTIONS OF A SUB-EDITOR

Sub editing is a practice that involves correcting any mistakes in an article and enforcing efficiency. Like other journalism roles, sub-editing is demanding and requires constant attention to detail within a fast-paced working environment. Sub-editors work on national and local newspapers, magazines and online publications. The functions that must be done by sub-editors are listed below:

In general the sub-editors perform the following three functions in which almost all the sub-editors functions are included.

COPY EDIT AND DEVELOPMENT

Sub-editor edits copy, written by reporters or features writers, to remove spelling mistakes and grammatical errors then construct a develop story. The reporter’s job is to write the story as quickly as possible with all the facts and figures. In their hurry, they may not be in a position to polish the language. So the first job of a sub editor is to see that the report is in good language and there are no mistakes. There can be spelling mistakes, mistakes in sentence construction, grammar and factual mistakes. If the sub editor finds a portion of the report ambiguous or incorrect or doubtful he has to cross check it with the reporter. Edit reports and press releases.

WRITE A HEADLINE

The sub editor then has to find a good headline for the story and writing headlines that capture the essence of the story or are clever or amusing. The headline should be sharp, attractive, crisp and convey the spirit of the story. The headline should compel the reader to stop and read the whole story.

While writing the headline, a sub editor should know the space available for the story, whether it is one column, two columns or three etc. The headline should fit within that column. While writing the heading, it should fit into the mood of the story. A sarcastic headline for a hard story will look odd. Similarly a hard-line headline will spoil the spirit of a humorous piece. The headline should also be suggestive. It should never be a full sentence.

FOLLOW IN HOUSE POLICY

Sub-editors are responsible for overseeing the content, accuracy, layout and design of newspaper and magazine articles and making sure that they are in keeping with house style. Every media house has its own policy and ethics. The media house contains and maintains their own goals, rules, and regulation. Every media follows their several news, advertisement, and page makeup policy. They oriented by their own policy. So the sub-editor should follow and fulfill the in house policy.

Without these three functions there are various significant jobs that are perform by sub-editors are remarks below:-

PAGE MAKEUP/LAYOUT OF PAGES

Page layout or page make up is an art. Each newspaper has a different layout though all have eight columns in each page. Types or fonts used by newspapers also differ from paper to paper. Every sub editor has to learn the typefaces available in the paper and the layout pattern adopted. Preparing the page of the newspaper is called page making. Earlier sub editors used to do it on dummy pages. Now a day they are doing it on the computer screen.

Picture editing also involves placing the picture in the correct position in the page. It is part of the page layout. Usually in the front page, only very important news pictures will find a place. He must have noticed from this that the headlines are not of uniform type. The type, or font, of the letters in each headline differs according to the length and width of the column. A sub editor should also know about the font sizes available. Each paper has its fonts and types. Ensuring that, stories are the right length and correctly placed on pages.

USE PICTURE PHOTOGRAPH OR GRAPH

The sub editor now has to see if there is a possibility for including photographs along with the news item. Pictures or graphs can improve the visual quality of a report. Photography is an integral part of the media.

Whether a newspaper or news weekly or news channel or a news portal, photography is essential to give it the visual impact, effect and authenticity. It is said that a good picture is worth a thousand words. Sometimes one picture is enough to explain the mood of a situation or an event.

WRITE CAPTION

When you see a photo in the newspaper you look for what is written under it. This writing under a photo is called the catchword or caption. When photographers file photos, it is the job of the sub editor to write the appropriate caption. Cropping photos and deciding where to use them for best effect, and writing picture captions. A good caption can improve the impact of the picture.

CONDENSATION

Condensation is a task that the sub editor has to do. Reporters generally file lengthy stories. Only the sub editor will be able to know about the availability of space in the newspaper. If the full story written by a correspondent will not squeeze into the space available, it is the job of the sub editor to condense it by rewriting or editing. If one word can substitute for a number of words that definitely should be done.

RE-WRITE NEWS STORY

Rewriting material needs that it flows or reads better and adheres to the house style of a particular publication. Ensuring that, a story fits a particular word count by cutting or expanding materials as necessary. Checking facts and stories to ensure they are accurate, adhere to copyright laws, are not libelous or go against the publication’s policy. Working to a page, plan to ensure that the right stories appear in the correct place on each page. If the sub-editor find any mistakes in a reporters copy he should correct the copy. If he think that the story needs to add some information or develop the story then he should re-write the story.

VALUE ADDED

The next job of the sub editor is to value add the report. If some background material has to be added, he has to collect it from the library and improve the story. For example, if a report is filed on a train accident killing ten people, the sub editor can improve the story by collecting information about other major train accidents that happened recently.

 

GIVE A BYLINE

Another important decision an editor has to take is about giving a byline or credit to the story. Normally bylines are not given for particular stories. But if a reporter files an exclusive story then it should appear with his byline or name so that he gets individual credit for the story. The decision of giving a byline to a reporter for a particular story is taken by the news editor. But a sub editor who edits the story can always suggest to the news editor about giving that story a byline.

PROOF READING

Proofreading complete pages produced by other sub-editors using the main basic proofing symbols. Checking facts and stories to ensure they are accurate, adhere to copyright laws, are not libelous or go against the publication’s policy. When a news ready to go for publication the sub-editor should check the spelling, grammar, punctuation and so on.

TRANSLATE THE STORY

Translation a copy is a vital job for the sub-editor. To translate the news story is a significant function of a sub-editor. There are many news sources, news agencies and institutions around the world from where the news media collect information to publish or broadcast. This type of information usually written in English. Besides this the press note, press releases are almost publish in English. The sub-editor needs to translate these types of information for the readers benefit.

CONCLUSION

Editing is a process by which a report is read, corrected, modified, value added, polished, improved and made better for publication. Condensation is also part of editing. The editor also decides whether photographs or other images or graphs should be used along with the report

Sub-editors are journalists or designers responsible for overseeing the content, accuracy, layout and design of newspaper and magazine articles and making sure that they are in keeping with house style. Now we can say that, the sub-editors are responsible to the house performing various functions. Besides sub-editors should cultivate some qualities that, make him for the competitive media world.

Following books and links are used to prepare this note

Warren,Carl: Morden News Reporting.

B.N. Ahuja & S.S.Chhabra; Editing.

Rahman, Jawadur ; News Editing.

Gilmore, Gene; Modern Newspaper Editing, University of Illinois.

http://www.copyblogger.com

http://journalism.about.com

http://www.poyenter.com

http://www.newswriting.com

http://www.editingwritingservices.org

QUALITIES AND FUNCTIONS OF A REPORTER

LALON CHANDRA SINGH
7/09/2015

INTRODUCTION

Reporters are people that no media organization can do without. For example media all over the world rely on their reporters for their news contents. A reporter’s job is therefore a very important one. A reporter is one who observes the passing show in the widest sense of the word and pictures its detail for the benefit of the whole society.
A reporter is the gatherer of news, and as such performs an important function in a newspaper establishment. A reporter may be accurate, conscientious, a good citizen and take part in mouldings the views of other people, but he cannot play his part successfully unless he keeps his eyes open and his mind attuned to the present, future as well as the past. He is a leader or representatives of men in many senses of the word.
News reporters or correspondents gather information, prepare stories, and make broadcasts or publish that inform us about local, State, national, and international events; present points of view on current issues; and report on the actions of public officials, corporate executives, interest groups, and others who exercise power. News reporters examine, interpret, and ready to publish or broadcast news received from various sources.
CONCEPT OF REPORTER

The people who collect or gather information and report it for a medium, especially for newspaper, television or online media is called reporter.
Reporters are the eyes and years for any news channel as they move around in range of beats throughout the day and gather the news items from various sources and make the news stories.

QUALITIES OF A REPORTER
The reporter must have some desire qualities to successes or to achieve the standard position of profession. The following are the basic qualities of a reporter or rather a good reporter:

COURAGEOUS AND CONFIDENT

A good reporter should be courageous and confident. Without courage and confidence it is difficult for a person to be a good reporter. Timidity on the part of any reporter will get them nowhere. You need to be brave enough to write the truth, no matter what the consequences. Sometimes it’s not easy. You end up almost becoming friends with your sources over time, and then one day you may be forced to write something negative about someone who thought they were your friend. That’s just the nature of the business. Also, sometimes you have to get mean with people who try to stonewall you and hide the truth.
SKEPTICISM
A good journalist is one who doesn’t take things on face value. Press releases or information given to them from people pushing for a certain agenda is only a starting point for a good journalist. Good journalists question sources and are always prepared to dig around until they get facts they are satisfied with.

TRUSTWORTHINESS/CREDIBLE
Credibility is something that every good reporter should have. In other words, a reporter must exhibit characters and behaviors that make him or her to be believed and trusted by people. Journalists interact with people from all walks of life who are often faced with an extreme crisis in their lives. It is a good journalist’s duty to know what to ask and when in the most appropriate manner. When people trust him enough to give him confidential or private information, it is his duty as a journalist to not make that information publicly available.
DEVELOP GOOD WRITING SKILLS
Wherever a journalist may work, whether in Print, Radio, TV or Online, they have to write. Depending on the time constraints, a good journalist is one who writes articulately, succinctly and quickly in an interesting and relevant way that appeals to readers.
PERSISTENCE
Craziest thing, some people you have to write about don’t like you or don’t care about you. You have to be able to call them over and over and follow them around like a stalker sometimes to get the information you need.
GOOD AT COMMUNICATIVE SKILLS
The reporter has to be able to communicate with people, interpret what information they give you, and present it to others. The relationship of trust between information organs and people is the foundation for every journalist’s job. To promote and maintain of this relationship all journalists should be good at communication sectors. A journalist has to respect, cultivate and defend the right to information of all people; for these reasons he researches and diffuses every piece of information that he considers of public interest in observance of truth and with a wide accuracy of it.

INQUISITIVE
A good journalist is one who is nosy. Where did the money for the project come from? Why is this politician supporting this policy? Why are these construction workers not wearing their head gear? A good journalist is one who is curious and burns with the desire to know what is going on in the world.
INTEGRITY
A journalist cannot accept benefits, favors or tasks that impair his autonomy and his professional credibility. A journalist cannot omit facts or details essential for a complete reconstruction of events. Titles, summaries, photos and subtitles must not either distort reality or forge the contents of all articles and news. A journalist must not publish images and photos of people involved in daily episodes which are particularly terrifying or prejudicial to people’s dignity, nor may he dwell upon details of violence or brutality unless for a prominent reason of social interest. He may not intervene in reality to create artificial images.
NEWS SENSE
News sense is the basic quality of newsmen. News sense is essential for a reporter. He has to have news sense or nose for news to distinguish news from non-news. He is the first reader of a copy and if he has made a mistake he has to correct it. A bad copy may have the most important element of the story buried in the fourth paragraph. He should be able to compare various news values and decide where to begin his story and should not miss important details.

CLARITY
A reporter should have clarity of mind and expression. A person who is confused himself cannot tell a story to others. Only clarity of mind is not enough unless it is accompanied by clarity of expression. Without clarity of expression clarity of mind has no meaning. Reporter is the judge of clarity of the copy a good reporter will never allow a copy escape him unless the meaning is crystal clear.
ALERTNESS
A reporter should always be alert while dealing with his subjects. Many major news breaks in the past were possible because of alertness of sources. A reporter has to be alert while working on news-beat. Lack of alertness of a reporter can be seen by readers in the morning for he will be leaving or introducing mistakes for everybody to see.

PUNCTUALITY
It is a good habit. It is always better to be punctual and then wait than reach late and ask others a rival may misinform you or hide some important information. At the beat too punctuality pays. If a reporter is punctual he will be treated with respect by his co-workers. If he is late he will irritate them and spoil the working atmosphere. Besides he may have to face the problem of backlog of copy which he will have to clear under the pressure of deadline.

DETERMINED
A journalist knows the difficulty in finding information, especially when certain people won’t agree to be interviewed. Nevertheless, they are determined to get over the toughest hurdle and bring a difficult story out into the open. What may start off seeming to be a simple news story can require hard work and determination?
GOOD GENERAL KNOWLEDGE
A good journalist is one who knows something about everything. They are well-informed news junkies especially in the area of politics, current affairs and law. There are plenty of ways to improve one’s general knowledge, from watching TV quiz shows and doing the newspaper quizzes to online searches, playing board games or even using your local or school library to access things like atlases, dictionaries and encyclopedias.
CULTIVATE ACCURACY
A good journalist is one who double- and even triple-checks the spelling of names and gives the correct details of the events that took place. Journalists need to have an eye for detail and not be afraid to ask questions again and again to ensure accuracy.
RESPONSIBILITY AND FAIRNESS
A good journalist is one who is able to take personal responsibility for what they write. They must keep in mind that there will be people who will be upset because they disagree with the angle of the story or because they wanted their story to be given more importance.

MOTIVATED AND ENTHUSIASTIC/ CURIOSITY
Curiosity is another very important quality of any good reporter. There is the need to be curious all the time. The spirit of curiosity helps the reporter get good stories. It helps a lot if a journalist has a skill or interest in something else. For instance journalists that know a lot and have a lot of interest in a certain subject are usually valuable. A good journalist is one who does not give up easily and one who has thick skin. There will be times when a journalist won’t be able to find interesting stories to write up, or people who are willing to talk to them. Regardless, a good journalist maintains a high level of motivation whatever the situation may be.

HIGHLY COMPETITIVE
It is difficult to get a job in mainstream media as a journalist. The industry is highly competitive and only few get selected. Nevertheless, there are many other opportunities for journalists as long as they are determined, competitive and have the skills noted above. Just make sure you get your foot in the media door. Some ways to start his journalism career include blogging, making regular contributions to his school or university newspapers, and volunteering at community radio stations. Keep in mind that any extra experience he gets in any media field will place him one step ahead of everyone else in the industry.
HARD WORKING
A reporter should be able to work fast and enthusiastically on any given story. News writing especially has a lot to do with deadlines. This therefore means that a good reporter should be able to work under pressure and meet deadlines. If you can’t soak the pressure then it is going to be hard to work as a reporter. The nature of the job being such, an ‘up-and -doing” type of person proves successful in this line. Naturally, persons who prefer fixed working hours and regular routine in daily life are unsuitable for this job.
POWER TO MAKE THE RIGHT QUESTION
Must be good at ask the right questions at the right time. A good reporter must be able to analyze and interpret information. He should have an ability to ask critical questions to the source. A person of snobbish, uppish and patronizing temperament has little or no chance of success in this line. A shy and a reserved type of young person are totally unfit to become a successful reporter. He must possess abundant self-confidence, so as not to be over-awed by the rank or position of an individual. He should be a man of initiative and should not be easily disheartened or discouraged.
MAINTAIN CODE OF CONDUCT
Either way, a journalist must be fair all the time and maintain a level of objectivity in what they report. The best journalist is one who has strong ethical and moral codes of conduct that help them determine what information to write and what to leave out. Reporters are people that no media organization can do without. For example newspapers all over the world rely on their reporters for their news contents. A reporter’s job is therefore a very important one.
SELF EDITING, CORRECTION AND CRITICISM POWER
A good reporter should have the habit of self-editing their copy before submitting it to their editors. Reporters should be able to write well. By writing very well I mean writing clear and well-focused stories that is easy to understand by everyone. Good spellings, punctuations and grammar are also requirements. A good reporter should be able to take corrections and criticisms in the course of performing their job. Comments, opinions belong to the right of speech and of criticism and, therefore, they have to be absolutely free from any obligation.
EYES FOR INDICATING NEWS STORY
A good reporter should have an eye for what is newsworthy and should be able to produce new stories without being told. A good reporter should be able to gather facts in a very careful and accurate way.
CAPABLE TO WORK WITH OTHERS AND IRREGULAR HOURS
The work of news gathering is quite an unpredictable one. One might never know when news will break or where it will happen. It is for this reason that a reporter should be able and willing to work at irregular hours. A reporter should be a good team player and be capable of working with other reporters, photographers and even editors. He should have an ability to work under pressure to meet deadlines. The nature of the job being such, an ‘up-and -doing” type of person proves successful in this line. Naturally, persons who prefer fixed working hours and regular routine in daily life are unsuitable for this job.
The above are some of the basic qualities that reporters should have regardless of whatever medium they are working – print media or broadcast media. If they develop these qualities, will be on the way to becoming a good reporters

FUNCTIONS OF REPORTER
Reporters are people that no media organization can do without. A reporter’s job is therefore a very important one. The followings are the most common functions of a reporter:

TO GATHER NEWS
A reporter is the gatherer of news, and as such performs an important function in a newspaper establishment. As he has to gather news, he is required to be on the move most of the time usually within the area allotted to him. He has to interview persons and attend public functions and meetings, press conferences and law courts to investigate events of public interest, to collect news and to ascertain news on contemporary events.

TO OBSERVE
A reporter is one who observes the passing show in the widest sense of the word and pictures its detail for the benefit of the whole society. He cannot play his part successfully unless he keeps his eyes open and his mind attuned to the present, future as well as the past. He must have the observation power to select news from the open world.

FINDING THE ANGLE
The angle of a news story is its most vital part. A news story is based on the angle it takes. Once a reporter gets all the facts about a story, the choice of selecting the right angle begins. The reporter has to decide it quickly because the story has to be reported at the earliest. So every reporter faces this question of deciding the angle.

TO MAKE THE NEWS REPORTS
By reporting, we mean collection or gathering of facts about current events or background material required for a news story or feature. Reporters do it through interviews, investigations and observation. Reporters are given directions by editors to cover a particular event, known as assignments. They may be general assignments or special ones. Reporters write the news stories, which are called copies. We call a news report a news story. In a newspaper office, reporters are the ones who file stories. They may be given different assignments. These may be on politics, economics, parliament, the stock exchange, sports, courts or markets. The reporter’s job is to write the story as quickly as possible with all the facts and figures.
TO BE AN ACTIVE LISTENER AS WELL AS ACTIVE PERSON
A reporter can get good stories by listening to others. While traveling in a bus, the reporter overhears the conversation between two passengers. “Did you go to the town today? There was a terrible accident. A school bus overturned. Twenty children were taken to hospital.”
By listening to this, the reporter gets a clue to a story. He now has to find out more details of the accident. Which school bus was involved? How many children were injured? In which hospital where they been admitted? The reporter goes to the accident site to collect all this information. The reporter’s job does not end there. He has to inform the photographer about the accident. The next day’s newspaper should also carry some good photographs about the accident.

COVERING EVENTS
PM visit Rangpur and hold a meeting, “India-Pakistan cricket Test in Mumbai”, “Kumbhmela in Haridwar”, “ International Film Festival in Goa “, these are all events. Reporters cover these events for their publications, channels or news bulletins. The coverage depends upon the importance and magnitude of the event. A small local government level meeting will be covered locally, whereas a state level function will get wider coverage. If it is a national event, it will receive nationwide attention.

GO TO PRESS CONFERENCE
A major source of news is the press conference. Leaders of political parties hold press conferences regularly. Ministers also hold press conferences to announce various programmes and policies of the government. Business houses arrange press conferences to launch their new products. Organizations and Associations also held press briefings.
TO ATTEND PRESS BRIEFING
These are other major sources of news items. Various commissions and committees submit their reports to the Government which are a goldmine as far as news reporters are concerned. Statements or press briefing by leaders and businessmen also make news. The reporters should present in media briefing.
TO MOVE INTO RESPECTIVE BEATS
As he has to gather news, he is required to be on the move most of the time usually within the area allotted to him. He has to interview persons and attend public functions and meetings, press conferences and law courts to investigate events of public interest, to collect news and to ascertain news on contemporary events. His work changes daily; as such he should be prepared to handle any assignment and move anywhere. He should have special knack of meeting all sorts of people in all types of circumstances.
TO CONCERN ABOUT PARLIAMENT AND ASSEMBLIES
Parliament and state assemblies when in session generate lot of news. Questions in both the houses of parliament, proceedings, calling attentions, zero-hour mentions, debates and various acts passed by the parliament also make news. The general budget and railway budget are presented in parliament. State budgets are presented in state assemblies.

TO HAVE LIAISON
The reporters should have maintained liaison with different sources of news. Such as-
The police are in charge of law and order. So the police always maintain a close vigil about various activities of citizens. Reporters get details about crime, accidents etc. from police sources.
INTERVIEWING
Interviewing people connected with an event or incident is a very common practice used by reporters to get details. Television reporters take the opinion of people which are called reactions. Occasionally, reporters of newspapers and channels conduct long interviews with important people.
REWRITE A NEWS STORY
Rewriting material needs that it flows or reads better and adheres to the house style of a particular publication. Ensuring that, a story fits a particular word count by cutting or expanding materials as necessary. Checking facts and stories to ensure they are accurate, adhere to copyright laws, are not libelous or go against the publication’s policy. Plan to ensure that the right stories appear in the correct place on each page. If the reporter find any mistakes in a copy he should correct the copy. If he think that the story needs to add some information or develop the story then he should re-write the story.
TO MAKE QUICK DECISION
He should be able to grasp the situation quickly and reduce it into writing in the shortest time and in a readable form. But while reporting news he must be able to judge its authenticity and then report the news so collected with absolute honesty. The narrative should be attractive so that the readers should enjoy reading it. In such a circumstance, he must have an eye for the important discussions/ decisions which are to be included in the report, omitting all other unimportant/irrelevant matter.
TO INVESTIGATE INFORMATION AND REPORT
The investigative journalist digs beneath the surface to help readers understand what’s going on in a complex world. Reporters must write and research stories in designated areas of expertise, or “beats.” This is more common at larger news organizations, where journalists specialize in such specific topics as medicine, politics or sports. Small city and town newspaper reporters are more likely to cover a wide range of subjects. Editors assign specific topics, which reporters develop into stories from calling or personally interviewing sources. Additional fact-checking may be needed if sources don’t agree on basic details.
WATCHDOG OF A SOCIETY
A crucial duty of journalists is to serve the public interest by acting as a watchdog on government, business, education, health, environment, safety and other institutions. That duty is particularly important where agencies and institutions restrict the flow of information. In any other case a journalist must always respect the principle of more transparency of the sources of information, giving the readers or the audience the maximum possible attention to them.
TO BE SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE
A journalist has to observe the maximum caution in spreading news, names and images of accused people for minor offenses leading to mild punishments, except in cases of particular social interest. A journalist must check all information obtained by his sources, he must accept responsibility for and control the origins of what he says, and he must always safeguard the substantial truth of facts. A journalist cannot discriminate against people on grounds of race, religion, mental and physical conditions or political opinions.
TO MAINTAIN PROFESSIONAL SECRECY
In cases in which the sources require secrecy, a journalist has to respect the professional secrecy and has to be able to inform the reader of such circumstance. A journalist respects the right of secrecy of every person and he may not publish news about someone’s private life, unless they are transparent and relevant to the public interest, however, he must always make known his own identity and profession when he gathers such news.
The names of victims of sexual violence can be neither published, nor can a journalist give details that can lead to their identification unless it is required by the victims themselves for relevant general interest.
TO HAVE TIME MANAGEMENT
News is extremely time sensitive. The reader wants his news to be new. Based on the idea that news is something you didn’t know before which is significant or interesting to a group of readers, news items are basically timely or immediate. News is what new. Reporting something that has just happened or is about to happen. An afternoon raid on a minister house may warrant a live report during evening news. So the reporter must maintain time management.
FOLLOW PRESS LAWS, ETHICS AND CODE OF CONDUCT
Press freedom is a word that is commonly used. By this, we mean the right to publish news without any restriction or control. But this does not mean that anything about anybody can be published. There are certain rules of conduct or principles of morality which we have to follow while reporting. The reporter should check and verify that the news which he writes is correct, accurate, and factual. He should not write anything that is misleading, inaccurate, defamatory, vulgar or obscene. Media should not intervene into the privacy of individuals. Also media should not report anything that harms national interest. If a report published in the paper defames the reputation of a person, that individual can file a defamation case in the court of law. The editor, printer or publisher is liable to be punished either individually or jointly.

CONCLUSION
It is not going to be easy that establish one’s as an efficient reporter. It requires a lot of hard work and effort. It is achievable, thought. Just don’t give up, and take advantage of any opportunity that comes one’s way. He must not express his own views in what he writes-he must know in most sets of circumstances-but everything he writes must express his mind and its condition. He holds up a mirror and how much clouded or clear it is, depends on the truth or a twist of the truth which he makes in accordance with his nature and mental equipment.
A reporter’s mind is like a sponge, paying a good deal of attention to purely mundane things but learning something every day and cleaning his mind of matters not up to the mark. He must organise his knowledge and codify it. He must understand the principles of government in general and in some details. He must know general history, particularly the history of his area. Though he can pick up these things as he goes along his duty, it is better for him to supplement his knowledge by a planned study.
A good reporter seldom sticks to a vulnerable position for long. Usually he passes on to news agencies or gets promotion to look after other aspects of newspaper production like a news editor or a chief correspondent.

Following links are used to make this note
http://hosbeg.com/qualities-of-a-reporter/
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=1006010801667
http://articles321.blogspot.com/2008/07/qualities-of-good-reporter.html
http://www.youthcentral.vic.gov.au/News+&+Features/ViewPage.action?&repositoryName=&siteNodeId=1993&CurrentFolderID=1966&ItemID=13965
http://www.preservearticles.com/what-are-the-roles-and-duties-of-a-newspaper-reporter.html
http://work.chron.com/newspaper-reporter-duties-11517.html
http://www.prospects.ac.uk/broadcast_journalist_job_description.htm
http://howardowens.com/2008/01/26/six-roles-or-job-duties-modern-journalism/
http://ethicnet.uta.fi/italy/charter_of_duties_of_journalists