Protecting the elderly

Better policies must be formulated to take care of the elderly in India

As a journalist, I must cover several stories on different issues, but this shook me the most as I was very close to my grandparents. In this reflective blog, I will reflect on my experience of covering this issue and share my key learnings.

The primary audience for this story is the general public, policy makers, law enforcement agency, social workers. The elderly themselves are also an audience for this story, as they need to know their rights and how they can protect themselves.

By addressing policymakers, my aim is to make them aware the situation so that they can develop such policies that will prioritise the safety and rights of elderly. It will help the police department to understand the issue in a depth so that they will take required actions against the culprits and maintain the dignity of the elderly. By targeting social workers, I wanted to raise awareness among them who can provide support and assistance to the victims.

The general public must be aware of this kind of social issues. They are the active member of the society. The story can create sympathy in their hearts for the victims as well as encourage them to raise their voice against the wrongdoers.

As a journalist, I had to be sensitive to the issue and ensure that the victims’ privacy and confidentiality were maintained. I also had to be mindful of the emotions involved and report the facts accurately without sensationalising the issue. I try my best to avoid any type of misinformation. I also tried to avoid stereotypical and biased approach while writing this story.

My approach was to first research the issue thoroughly, including the laws and policies related to elder abuse. I then interviewed experts and victims to gain a better understanding of the issue. I tried to avoid to sensationalizing issue and I was very sensitive while framing the questions for the interview and writing the story.

I ensured that the language used was appropriate and respectful. The tone was empathetic, but not sympathetic. I wanted to convey the seriousness of the issue without being biased. I have created a shortform video of around 50 second to summarize the issue. As visuals can create a profound impact on the viewers, so while addressing a social issue which needs a visual storytelling can serve as a catalyst for change by grabbing the attention of policymakers to general public.

The videos can create more impact as it combines two elements- one is of awareness and other is entertainment. Shortform videos make it easier for the message to spread far beyond conventional readership. It can capture the attention of vast demography and convey the message in a convenient form. A short form video leaves a lasting impression on the audience. Through imagery and powerful narration, it can evoke empathy and a connection between the victim and the viewer.

I took some help from the AI tool ‘CHATGPT’. It can give a clear idea about the topic. I took help from the DALL.E-2 for creating images. It has a vast knowledge base that helped me while forming some parts of the story. Although it is very useful in some areas like assisting in gathering information but the information it provides is not always true. So, there is a great need of fact checking and aligning structure. It just provides me random information without any specific evidence and clarity. I was aware of the limitations of the tool so; I took extra care to cross reference information and critically assess its outputs.

While doing this assignment I have learnt about different things that a journalist needs to consider in mind while writing a feature story. Firstly, the writer should know his/her primary audience for whom he/she is writing. He has a clear and concise idea so that he can write without any confusion. Through conducting interviews, I gather personal experiences and that create a deeper understanding about the topic.

I became more aware about the way of interviewing a sensitive issue. One must show his/her sympathy to the victim without being biased. I learnt about the importance of someone’s privacy and sensitivity. My understanding about AI and shortform video enhanced. In social media journalism, one must be used to powerful tools and platforms to convey the message. A journalist must be objective and biased-free.

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