Hindu writeups about Journalism and Prasara Bharati

The Hindu has published two news items, one about journalism and another about Prasara Bharati. Both  are interesting. Here are just two paragaraphs from each article. The interested may click the links below to read complete articles.

Journalism must become more participative

CHENNAI: With the growing spread of the digital medium, journalism will have to become more participative by seeking and allowing responses from readers, Alan Rusbridger, Editor of The Guardian, United Kingdom, said on Saturday.

Delivering a lecture organised by The Hindu and the Asian College of Journalism on ‘The future of journalism in the digital age,’ Mr. Rusbridger referred to the debate that his paper had on the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, adding that others (non-journalists) could be involved in the pre-publication processes as well.

Pointing out that journalists were not the only voices of authority, expertise and interest, Mr. Rusbridger said that in the digital age, journalism should encourage others to initiate debate or make suggestions. “Newspapers can utilise the digital records of non-journalists who happened to witness events,” he said.


Can we afford Prasar Bharati?

A ugust and September have been distracting months for the scandal-chasing media. Else somebody would at least have drawn attention to the extraordinary developments concerning Prasar Bharati. In August, the Minister for Information and Broadcasting recommended the dismissal of its Chief Executive to the Prime Minister. And in the same month, she introduced an amendment bill in Parliament that seeks in effect to ensure that all employees of the corporation will remain government servants on deemed deputation. Three milestones achieved by non-Congress governments in 1978, 1990 and 1997 have been quietly reduced to rubble.

Lal Krishna Advani mooted the idea of broadcasting autonomy in 1978, P. Upendra presided over its becoming an Act in1990, and seven years later yet another non-Congress government hastily notified the Act just before the government fell. But for all their pains, what has developed since represents neither public service broadcasting in its best sense, nor autonomy. A 38,000-employee behemoth now has its 20-plus registered employee unions, all clamouring for the Act to be withdrawn. They want Prasar Bharati to go back to being what they euphemistically call a national broadcaster so that they can go back to being proper government servants. With tax payers now footing an annual bill of Rs. 3,000 crore for the privilege of having a public service broadcaster!

Meanwhile, the Central Vigilance Commission has found colourful examples of autonomous functioning by the CEO and his colleagues, amounting to questionable financial dealings. And the board set up to oversee Prasar Bharati finds itself in a quirky position. The decisions it takes are simply not recorded by the CEO who records the minutes. A huge democracy that set out to give itself broadcasting autonomy has ended up giving one man autonomy, through the tenures of three different chairpersons. Though found guilty of presiding over highly suspicious decision-making by the CVC, the next step, that of suspension, so that an enquiry can take place, has not been taken. The leaders of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, both former Ministers of Information and Broadcasting, should be asking why.

How did this country’s experiment with an autonomous public broadcaster come to such a sorry pass?



ಉತ್ತಮ ಪತ್ರಕರ್ತರಾಗಲು ಹನ್ನೆರಡೂವರೆ ನಿಯಮಗಳು

ನಾನು ತುಂಬಾ ಗೌರವಿಸುವಂತಹ ಹಿರಿಯ ಹಾಗೂ ಅಷ್ಟೇ ಯಂಗ್ ಆದ ಔಟ್ ಲುಕ್ ಸಂಪಾದಕರಾದ ಕೃಷ್ಣ ಪ್ರಸಾದ್ ರೊಂದಿಗೆ ಇತ್ತೀಚೆಗೆ ಕೆಲ ಗಂಟೆಗಳನ್ನು ಕಳೆದೆ. ನಾನು ವಿಜಯ್ ಟೈಮ್ಸ್ ದಾವಣಗೆರೆ ಜಿಲ್ಲಾ ವರದಿಗಾರನಾಗಿದ್ದಾಗ ಅವರು ನನಗೆ ಸಂಪಾದಕರು!

ಇತ್ತೀಚೆಗೆ ಅವರೊಂದಿಗೆ ಕಳೆದ ಸಮಯದಲ್ಲಿ ಕಲಿತ ವಿಷಯಗಳ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಹಂಚಿಕೊಳ್ಳುವ ಮುನ್ನ, ಅವರು ತಮ್ಮ  we are the best ಬ್ಲಾಗ್ ನಲ್ಲಿ ಬರೆದಿದ್ದ  ಉತ್ತಮ ಪತ್ರಕರ್ತನಾಗಲು ಹನ್ನೆರಡೂವರೆ ನಿಯಮಗಳನ್ನು ನಿಮ್ಮ ಬಳಿ ಹಂಚಿಕೊಳ್ಳಬೇಕು.  

ನಿಯಮಗಳು ಇಲ್ಲಿವೆ. ನಾನೂ ಸೇರಿದಂತೆ ಪತ್ರಕರ್ತರಾದವರೆಲ್ಲ ಇವುಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಎಷ್ಟನ್ನು ನಾವು ಅಳವಡಿಸಿಕೊಂಡಿದ್ದೇವೆ ಎಂದು ನಮ್ಮ ನಮ್ಮ ಆತ್ಮ ಸಾಕ್ಷಿಗಳನ್ನು ಪ್ರಶ್ನಿಸಿಕೊಳ್ಳಬಹುದು.

writerpen12. DO WHAT YOU LOVE: Be passionate about what you choose to do. Remember: If  there’s no love in the kitchen, there is no taste on the table. Never reject the impulses of your youth. Be responsible for your life, don’t blame others for what you become or don’t become.  

11. WAKE UP ANGRY, AMBITIOUS: Get the fire in your belly to do something, set things right. Respond to injustice, inhumanity, corruption. Comfort the afflicted, afflict the comfortable. Don’t think it is somebody else’s job. Be the change you want to see.

10. DON’T BE THE LOYAL MEMBER OF ANY PARTY, GROUP, CLUB, NGO: Credibility is everything. Retain your independence, be skeptical not cynical. Don’t mortgage your integrity. It’s like virginity—once you lose it, you have lost it forever.

 9. BE CATHOLIC OF WRITERS AND WRITING: Read newspapers, magazines, books across the board. Admire writers/writing irrespective of ideology. In the age of the internet, you have no excuses for your ignorance.

 8. FIND YOURSELF A ROLE-MODEL/MENTOR: Have a hero or heroine who has been there, done that. Keep in touch with people who will help you achieve your aims. Meet at least one new person every day.

 7. BE A THRIVER, NOT A SURVIVOR: Don’t coast along, don’t be afraid to try out something new. Aim high, dream, have an ambition, set yourself a goal. Take a risk, think big, think differently, don’t be predictable.

 6. NEVER WORK WITH SUCCESS/ REWARD IN MIND: Work for fun and the satisfaction, the rewards will come on their own. Don’t fall for cheap praise and don’t be stalled by even cheaper criticism.

 5. WRITE, DRAW, SHOOT, CREATE EVERY DAY: Eventually your habits become you. Practics makes you perfect. Develop the three Ds—discipline, dedication, determination—and reward and recognition will naturally follow.

 4. KEEP LEARNING EVERY DAY: You cannot learn eerything in the classroom or the newsroom. It’s a constantly changing business, keep learning. Again, in the age of the internet, you have no excuse not to do so.

 3. FEAR NOBODY, QUESTION EVERYTHING: You are in the business to get the answers. Don’t be in awe of big names, power, reputations, status. This business is all about meeting total strangers and asking them questions you wouldn’t ask your parents.

 2. NEVER BE EMBARRASSED TO ASK STUPID QUESTIONS: There are no stupid questions, only dumb answers. Talk less, listen more. Be humble of your ignorance.

 1. CHASE YOUR DREAM: Stop living for others, avoid temptation, life is not all about money. Let your reputation never be under question. It’s true—it’s possible to earn decently and live honourably as a journalist.

And this half-rule

If POSSIBLE MARRY OUTSIDE THE PROFESSION: There’s nothing more boring and dreadful than waking up with somebody who goes through the same pangs and pangas as you.


(With grateful acknowledgement to Dr Ramachandra Guha, the eminent historian and writer, who delivered the convocation at the Indian Institute of Journalism & New Media (IIJNM), two years ago, from which this piece has been adapted and expanded)