Journalism, a very intriguing career choice

19 Jan,2012

By Ranjona Banerji

 

The Economic Times has an interesting story on how High Street brands record higher sales atDelhiairport than any mall inIndia. While recording lots of facts and figures and quotes from retailers, the article nowhere suggests one possible reason: delayed flights and trapped passengers. Conspiracy theorists have the chance to build up a case here.

 

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Is Salman Rushdie coming toIndiaor not? The Times of India set the cat among the pigeons saying that he is not coming or has been de-invited or that the Rajasthan government was playing chicken. Today’s Hindustan Times says he is coming but then doesn’t either corroborate or provide further information. The upshot seems to be that the Jaipur Literary Festival is being neither brave nor cowardly but nothing at all. The newspapers haven’t done enough homework and the TV channels are looking for bogeymen and monsters around every corner and under every bed.

 

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While television appears to be all in favour of army chief VK Singh and his defiance of the government, newspapers have presented a more balanced view of the date of birth controversy. Indeed, it might even be gleaned from various articles and opinions that newspapers have been a wee bit critical. It is interesting to see that television news anchors and reporters are unable to exercise any objectivity where the armed forces are concerned – it is as if worship has been ingrained since childhood. This makes journalism a very intriguing career choice.

 

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Vice-president Hamid Ansari’s speech at the Ramnath Goenka journalism awards is the main edit page piece in the Indian Express. Excerpts were quoted in yesterday’s Freaking News. It makes some points which are worthy of discussion – editors being coerced by management, better professional training for journalists and the role of the media in a democracy.

 

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Talk show queen Oprah Winfrey’s visit toIndiahas actually inspired less hysteria than I thought it would. Perhaps much as she “loves”India, she has decided to orchestrate the TV hoopla herself.

 

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The Hindustan Times has picked the women’s finals at the Australian Open as their “no television” day. They must be crazy if they think someone like me will even pay attention!

 

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