Friday, September 08, 2006

No regrets

People keep asking me why I am not getting back to TV journalism. How can you give up such an exciting and glamorous job is a question I answer atleast twice a week. I usually tell them things like - I can't handle the work pressure or my family time is more important. But those are only peripheral reasons. The real reason was that I was disillusioned.
I was dissappointed that news was not just uncovering was creating sensation with that "truth". I was dissappointed that people in Delhi couldn't distinguish between Karnataka and AP. I was once asked to go to Sriharikota to get a single byte from a Scientist because the producer in Delhi thought it was in Karnataka (it is in AP) and didn't think that there was any credible space scientist in Bangalore! I was shocked by the utter ghoulish rivalry between journalists of different channels. I was dismayed at the blatantness with which colleagues stole bylines from each other. That wasn't the place for forming friendships I was told. (honestly I don't want such friends). I was let down by the statement "you have to be dramatic to grab attention" And the producer didn't mean dramatic words he meant dramatic action in front of the camera (in case your wondering, I had to be dramatic). I tried that but then if I wanted to be dramatic won't I be in an (K)Ekta Kapoor serial than at a 24 hour news channel? They sure pay better (Even a not so big actor gets as much as 3k per episode and with soaps running for 700-800 episodes imagine the money one could make there)
To top it all if you don't want to live in Delhi or Mumbai you can't really break into the "league" (there are exceptions to this of course but who said anything me being exceptional?)
A friend of mine who worked in the TV medium for longer than me recently quit saying "TV is such a dog eat dog world that unless you are ready do that you shouldn't be in there"
Yeah I sure miss the magic of visual medium because print is not as exciting (no offence here just my opinion) .
The Hoot has an opinion piece on 24 hour news channels. After reading that I surely don't regret my decision.


Anonymous said...

I am getting depressed each and every day, day by day. All due to the lies of media.
As I read the Indian news, it is full of dramatic news. IBNlive is doing this successfully even if the news looks twisted.
I had been following what IBN publishes on Karnataka these days and what Kannada papers write.
With kannada I find the news reasonable while IBN reports half truths sufficient to leave the readers agitated and charged. IBN always wins with hit count.
Well.. if this is all matters, I find government institutions lot more sincere and dedicated than these evil news channels.
My request to all is - better keep watching regional media. They are way above in ethics and in balanced views. So do not rely on english media in India on any issue!

Abhipraya said...

Dear Anonymous,

Regional media is not all hunky dory either. They too have their share of sensationalism - both print and television.

Do you know there are so many Kannada / hindi newspapers printed that you and I don't read but has considerable readership among people - with mostly crime, gossip and other stories blown out of proportion? The same is true with Television channels too.

If you ask me, journalism is getting sucked into sensationalism in more ways than one and language really does not matter.