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Again, several decades back, life was
a lot simpler. As a #journalist or as a reporter, one had a certain amount of
freedom. But that did not mean you could expose anyone or write against anyone.
Remember, at the end of the day we are controlled by the management and no
matter how good a reporter we are, we cannot go against the wishes of the
management. Because the management ensures that we make money and that money in
turn ensures that we get our salaries and perks, etc. If you look around and
see how television anchors today go out of their way to praise the government
in power without batting an eyelid or having their conscience pricked, it’s not
because they believe in what they say, it’s all about what the management wants
and eventually it boils down to “paapi pet ka sawal…”
When it comes to political
journalism, the stakes are very, very high. It’s not so high in #autojournalism.
It’s a lot easier to be an auto journalist. Rather there is nothing called auto
journalist. It is auto enthusiast. I’ll come to that later in one of my posts.
Of course, I know of a case where an auto journalist working in a newspaper
wrote something against a leading auto major and the furious company withdrew
its advertisement support to the tune of several crores of rupees. The
management had to really get on its knees before the auto company and the auto
journalist had to mend his ways for all times to come. “Paapi pet ka sawal
When I was working with the Indian
Express as a Principal Correspondent in the Economic Bureau, I remember writing
about a public sector company and the corruption therein as alleged by some of
the trade union members. I was young and I wanted to write what was right. I
quoted the allegations made by them and the report appeared in several editions
of the newspaper. My Business Bureau Chief was furious and told me that he had
got a call from a senior bureaucrat asking him who this correspondent was and
why he was writing this malicious report. He asked me to do another report,
correcting my views. Instead, I wrote a report quoting further allegations made
by the company workers.
The next morning I got a call from
the senior bureaucrat. She was furious and threatened me. “I will sue you for
one crore rupees,” she said. I got petrified. I backed off because my
management refused to back me. That’s the life of a journalist!
TO BE CONTINUED....
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