Hard Knocks:Journos,keep your distance from celebs

23 Sep,2011

By Anil Thakraney


The Twitter boom has helped celebrities the most. Politicians, movie stars, sports icons, authors, etc, now have direct access to their fans. And it also helps them promote their own work and speak their minds without having to deal with the “middleman” (mass media). Nothing wrong with that. And more power to twitter!


As it turns out, many of us journalists are also on Twitter. Not only does the platform help us break news, it also gives us a firsthand report on what the celebs are doing and thinking. Most of it is garbage like “I am eating a piping hot masala dosa” or “Traff&cked in Chennai”…. Still, it’s a useful medium for quick info.


So far so good.


However, I have noticed some over-eager journalists bond with celebs over Twitter, as if they were conversing with close buddies. I notice a huge amount of backslapping and general bonhomie. It’s quite possible some journos feel a high with this instant celeb connect. But quite frankly, this is an unhealthy thing to happen.


At the root of good journalism lies the Lakshman Rekha between reporters/editors and celebrities. Because this line of control helps to keep reportage and analysis unbiased and free. This detachment is absolutely essential to journalism. While it’s okay to wish the celebs now and then on momentous occasions, the interaction must remain at that level. Because the truth is, you cannot write bad and embarrassing things about friends. You will hesitate in doing so, and that’s human nature.


Already we saw what happened during Radiagate. Some journos, because of their good friendship with politicians, crossed the line. And made fools of themselves. And Twitter has made possibilities of such things happening at a higher frequency.


So yes, let’s tweet. Let’s read their tweets. Let’s even re-tweet. And that’s where it must all end.




PS: Speaking of Twitter, some days back there was a massive rumour going around that the J&K CM Omar Abdullah is in a relationship with a senior TV journo (speak of crossing Lakshman Rekhas!). And that he was even planning to marry her. Not sure if there’s any truth in this. But if true, the journo in question must examine the past history of neta/journalist alliances. It’s doesn’t read very well.


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2 responses to “Hard Knocks:Journos,keep your distance from celebs”

  1. Ankeet Sinha says:

    This after you wished Sonam Kapoor all the best for Mausam just yesterday.. which turns out she will need badly as it has got crappy reviews !

    • Anil Thakraney says:

      Hi Ankeet. This is what I said…. always a good idea to read carefully before trolling: “While it’s okay to wish the celebs now and then on momentous occasions, the interaction must remain at that level.”