I find this weird. Journalists are expected to mirror the pulse of the society. The Fourth Estate has a hugely valuable role. Just a few years ago, most journalists did their role to perfection. I have interacted with millionaires and celebrities as well as beggars on the streets and cleaners. With newspapers becoming “brand products,” a trend set in motion by The Times of India, journalists also have changed. It took one full month for me to get a byline (Name) in The Times of India when I started my career in the 80s. Now, journos sitting in AC rooms and sporting three-piece suits talk on their cellphones and have their bylines flashed in bold letters. I hardly see journalists moving into the field and interacting with the masses. Of course, this should not be generalized as a few colleagues do sweat it hard out there, but their number has become negligible. Also, at a dinner meeting last night in Dubai where several prominent people from the Indian community were present, I saw many journalists shying away from interaction with others. How do shy-types make it to the print industry where the code word is interaction?
Rr/Oct 19, 2008