Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Death of the Reporter. Is This the End?

In this article in The Hindu Sandeep Bhushan states that the reporter is a diminishing tribe, overlooked, except when reporting on calamities and acts of God. 

Yes. We have seen this happening often in television journalism. When a gang rape occurs they invite celebrities, film stars who give inane views about the incident without being able to analyse it in depth as a journalist can. 

For example in the "Nirbhaya" case the whole discussion centred around chemical castration and death penalty for rape without touching upon the issue of atrocities against women and gender equality and women empowerment. So we are back to our own narrow view of the incident having lost the opportunity for a wider exchange of views on the abovementioned subjects.

It's pathetic to hear a Bollywood star say, "I am in favour of chemical castration" when she doesn't know what it means and there's nobody to demonstrate what the term means and who is authorised to administer it if it is decided as the punishment for rape. I am sure she wouldn't know what castration means in the first place. ("Is it something to do with Castro?" Yes, a starlet can get as stupid as that, occasionally. He he.) The next questions to be asked "Will the man lose his virility?" "Will he lose his urge to rape?" aren't asked nor answered. So, say what's convenient and be satisfied that you have been seen on the television screen. Hooray! Big achievement!

In my days of journalism the reporter was admired, revered and cultivated. Even business barons had respect for the beat journalist. Nowadays journalists are the age of interns and there's no internship to speak about. Time was when I would try and try to be selected for the Times' journalist training program and fail. 

Well, those were the days!

John is @johnwriter on Twitter and John.Matthew on Facebook. He blogs here. His Youtube Channel Page. His novel Mr. Bandookwala, M.B.A., Harvard.

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