March 08, 2008

life in journalism: not being straight-forward

In my 14 years as a journalist in the Indian media, I have seen—and heard from my journalist colleagues—that more often than not the top 2-4 editors in any print publication or any TV media channel very rarely play with a straight bat with regard to the stories (news or feature articles) and with regard to the other writers (whether referred to as correspondents or assistant editors).

They are the worst people-managers in the entire corporate world. They easily get blinded by their own ego. Hidden agendas get played out cunningly. Worse, they develop subtle or blatant antipathy towards any writer who hold a different viewpoint on a particular issue, and will cunningly mis-use their power as an editor to spike such writers' stories or at least subdue them.

What this means is that things do not necessarily happen on merit in Indian journalism. Its a major blow for the freedom of expression in India. Unfortunately, a majority of the readers and viewers can not see this. The dishonest editors are intelligent enough to apply a plastic surgery to their publications/channels and display the artificial fair face in front of the readers and viewers.

To be sure, the editors/journalists other than the top 2-4 editors (whom I have talked about above) have their shortcomings too. But, at least, there are very little powers vested in them for them to abuse it in any significant way. One of their shortcomings is, in fact, their not standing up to subtle or direct intimidation by their senior-most editors (it gets much worse when some of them cosy up and allow themselves to be used for petty short-term career benefits).

I pray to our universal energy that things improve so that not just the journalists but also the readers aand viewers get to experience a clean and straight-forward media.

No comments: