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The reason I love my job

September 29, 2010

Well, sometimes. After you’ve been working for a while, you settle into a rhythm, a routine and things get boring. Even in a job that is as versatile as mine, sometimes you get into a rut writing about the same kind of stuff. You are writing new things like a new company’s results, a new product and all of that, and you are learning and it is fun. But it is still… mundane.

And one day you interview someone or just talk and you realise how much of a difference your writing makes. That there are issues much bigger than what you do and the writing contributes to it some small way or the other.

I spoke to someone regarding a story I am working on today. There was a brief I skimmed through before I called him. I knew what he did and all of that. It is an interview and you are prepared, to a certain extent. But during the course of the interview, it came out that he was physically disabled. Of course, I knew he worked for the organization that dealt with such things. But I did not expect him to belong to that group.

It is an issue that most of us do not even pay attention to. We do not have time for disabilities in today’s world.

Towards the end of the conversation, he mentioned that it was really nice I was doing this story and bringing people’s attention to this issue, which needs addressing.

Why was I touched? Because he reminded me of how important my job is… that I do make a difference in some small way or the other. And there are people who are capable of inspiring you, who overcome challenges and obstacles everyday and manage a perfectly normal life.

Maybe we expect people with disabilities to be a particular way… We are steeped in our mindsets that we forget to look beyond what appears to be the picture.

There have been several comments the past few days about how the media did a horrible hatchet job on the CWG. Is it true? Maybe not completely. But somewhere, every television reporter gets caught up in the pressure of delivering news 24/7. You need to fill in airspace and you need to get that edge. So you use  bigger and better adjectives than the previous report and the whole thing gets blown out of proportion.

It is an evil world out there, and money is the bottomline. I refuse to believe the media is corrupt but our integrity is somewhat compromised by the advertising revenues. Yes, we all watched the movie Page 3 and there is some amount of truth in it. But the thing is… every person who signed up to be a reporter has some idealism in them. At least when we start out. We are all idealists who are brutally abused by the system, or by what we see, and we choose to either go bitterly cynical, or simply say ‘screw it’ and give the people what they want.

The real news sometimes gets lost in the sensationalism. You know the “shock news” thing now. But we get the news. There is always a Tehelka, a Watergate. But to keep the public’s attention – which is more attuned to Rakhi Sawant’s thumkas and gossip, we need to add the mirch  masala. It sucks. It is also reality. It also isn’t right.

I cannot say which way it will finally go. Will shares dictate the bottomline of news? Maybe. But I do know that as long as there are organizations like Reuters, New York Times, and to an extent, some Indian newspapers like The Hindu, journalism will survive. And there is always a streak of ego and integrity in us that will not allow us to go completely overboard. And if we do, there are always the tons of new journos that graduate every year. So, limited their powers might be, but we’ll have good news till the cynicism takes them over.

And then there are some who weather it all to become legends like Khuswant Singh. And some who end up with a cloak of popularity and disgust like Barkha Dutt. But being a journalist, we take it all with a glass of much-need whiskey.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. yaj permalink
    December 2, 2010 7:21 pm

    I always believed the news aired on private channels or newspapers popular column are paid ones which is undoubtedly proved by the recent Radia-Barkha Dutt corruption tapes.Like politicians , Indian journalist are also corrupt What is most amazing is the near black-out of story on electronic media for almost 2 weeks. Journalist question politicians on the ground of morality and ethics but then what is about their own conduct? What make them think they are beyond scrutiny and their words of innocence need to be taken as gospel while they have the right to chase everybody from PM to common man asking for truth & proof of innocence?

    You have always been very vocal in your post about the corruption issues but this time around, i don’t understand your silence.May be you are one of those journalist who are trying to cover up corruption in the backyard of their own fraternity?Can you still say you love your job ?

    • December 3, 2010 7:42 am

      Hey Yaj,
      Welcome back… Actually I do agree with you and I thought I had posted something about this whole thing. I guess I didn’t post it on this blog and just ended up having massive discussions elsewhere.
      Haven’t had much time to blog for a while now…
      But yeah, I agree. Media’s silence over this issue is sad. Not shocking… just sad. There have been portals where it was mentioned, including The Hoot (which is this journalist-watch organization). But most of the mainstream media has been silent about it… Barkha Dutt does have a pull (dunno why) as does Vir Sanghi. Will their careers be tarnished? I don’t think so… If you do read my posts, I have always said that the Indian media is way overtaken by corporatism and big funds to function normally.
      But yes, I still love my job. Just because a part of a system is corrupted does not mean we all are. There are always Tarun Tejpals and Khuswant Singhs for every Barkha Dutt and Vir Sanghi. I love the fact that I can make a difference, that I am the voice that reaches people.

  2. December 3, 2010 7:45 am

    Okay.. go back read the post. REALLY read it. Not even in between the lines. My opinion of my profession and the line that divides it is clearly mentioned. Yes. I love my job and I am proud of being a reporter.

    • yaj permalink
      December 3, 2010 2:52 pm

      ” Just because a part of a system is corrupted does not mean we all are ”

      Because this time the entire journalist fraternity is standing under a cloud therefore they are coming up with excuses .Are you not the same people who label every politician or a policeman as corrupt just because a section of a system is corrupt?Are you not the same who make their judgment heard even before listening the other side of a story?Why you all are up for a different treatment when you people have never given the same chance to others ?Today, if i say all the journalist in India are corrupt then why it hurts you ?Are you not guilty of passing the same judgment on some other systems in India?

      • December 3, 2010 3:00 pm

        Okay you really have to stop interpreting stuff. Go back. Read the article. I’ve stood by these words forever… If you are absolutely intent on nitpicking, then I really can’t say anything.
        A real journalist is the one who tells both sides of the story. If morons like you want sensational TV, you get people like Barkha Dutt. The media isn’t the only one to blame for its state today. Nor is the government the only one to blame for the state it is in today. Every time you bribe someone, or you turn a blind eye, or make an excuse – you become the part of the problem.
        Go back and REALLY read the post, till the end. Wake up. And stop making arguments for the sake of it.

  3. yaj permalink
    December 3, 2010 3:33 pm

    If a glass of whiskey make you so bad mouthed than i am sorry

    • December 6, 2010 12:09 pm

      what?

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