I would like to start my editorial with one of the famous quotes of Oscar Wilde which says,“Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation”. Few days ago, a Senior Journalist of “Jagran”Group suggested me to learn and write in Hindi to connect with maximum people and readers. He almost convinced me about the importance of “Hindi” for a journalist(especially if you are active on Social Media). I adapted his thought and tried to implementit with balanced posts in both “Hindi” and “English” languages.Today morning, another senior journalist who is working with TOI criticised me for loosing charm as an ‘English Journalist’. He bashed me out and out saying that “You have become a typical North-Indian” journalist. He told, “Why you have to listen to those vernacular writers who are jealous of us?We belong to ‘English Publications’and you should have that attitude in you.My mood was spoiled as I never thought somebody will bash me for the language I used in theearly morning and I was at the receiving end.Anyways,they both are following me. I am too junior to them to argue but trying to have a grip here with almost an integrity which is beyond the language barriers. Earlier, Journalists were divided in to two sects, Electronic media and Print media. These days,media is sub divided into Hindi, English and vernacularmedia houses to some extent. Now, even banners are divided on the basis of its loyalty towards political parties. Yes, English press have that attitude towards vernacular press. It’s been always there but has come openly now. If you are comfortable and can communicate in both or more languages, then it gives you an edge. However, the strange mindset is that if you know English in addition with French and German then you are an elite person. And if you know English along with Hindi or Marathilanguage then you are medium or a common person. Whatmatters here is content and only reasonable expectation is decent grammar. While social media companies seem eager to break their mobile experiences into smaller pieces, there are some risks that could turn off users. Whereas print media has different challenge and electronic media has another challenge. Over all, journalism has gone unreasonable and arrogant.
Few days ago, I was watching a talk show on IBN Lokmat anchored by Nikhil Wagle.He invited some politicians along with Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) Anjali Damania. During a debate, she said media was not fair with AAP.Wagle lost his cool and behave like a wild animal and started attacking her with all sort of hard dialogues and language.Finally, she was about to cry and he asked her to leave the studio. Arnab Goswami is famous for his aggressiveness and pretending like or copying him will not make others famous.
Journalists have been the only source of information for administration since the 2nd World War. India has imported the style of engaging journalist for gathering intelligence on politics as well as crimes. Trading of information between the journalist fraternity and Intelligence agencies went on rise and reached a point of equilibrium, so much that ethics ceased to exist. Some did it for status, some for career, while some for money.The ugliest form of info-sharing journalism was seen during the 2G spectrum scam when we heard Barkha Dutt and Vir Sanghvi operating as touts amidst the political lobbying that was on for the portfolio of Telecom Minister. It is government’s approach towards the journalistic fraternity that neither of them has been made accused.Shivani Bhatnagar made a posthumous impact upon the journalist fraternity when the hidden details of her relationship with some bureaucrats and politicians were revealed during investigations. Unholy proximity to the subjects of journalism is the root or fundamental evil of all the tragedies that journalist have had to face, either by virtue of loss of name or due to some legal consequences.
Mumbai being the commercial capital of India has some weighty examples of unholy nexus between journalists and their subjects such as officials, politicians and underworld dons. The sensational J Dey murder case has brought to the fore this nexus more clearly than any other events. Having covered the crime beat for around three decades, Dey had naturally developed affiliations in legitimate as well as illegitimate walks of life. Bootleggers, matka-den operators are regular paymasters of crime reporters residing in respective areas. Visionless and routine crime reporters thrive on their money and retire peacefully. Ambitious reporters like Dey, aim high and possess heavy appetite. Their morals become flexible in the initial period of their career and later vanish. Switching of loyalties is not a great affair when it comes to money. It may not be so frequent in underworld as it is in journalism. Whether it is for higher pay-scale in another newspaper or for a “heavier Diwali” by a gangster; a journalist can swing like a Pilipino bi-sexual. He/she can switch loyalties so fast that even seasoned politicians shall envy the promptness and swiftness of such a journalist.