Tag Archives: journalism

The Changed Face of the Newsroom: Monobina Gupta

 Guest post by MONOBINA GUPTA. DelhiUniversity teachers are fighting back to hold on to the fast vanishing autonomy of academics and academia. For me, this is a significant moment. Not just because the teachers are setting an example in their refusal to submit to the destructive moves disguised as ‘reform’, slammed through by well-connected and powerful authorities at the top. I must confess to my own selfish reasons for celebrating this moment. As a journalist, I can’t but think of all that we too could have held on to had only we walked this path of resistance, stalled the first assault on the newsroom, resisted the first strike, shrinking what I would describe as our ‘journalistic territory.’

Had we moved in that difficult yet honourable direction, we too might have guarded our space, not allowed non-journalists to take it over, bit by bit. Is it too late to recover and reclaim what was once an autonomous, if not a radical newsroom? Maybe. Maybe not.

For journalists like me who entered the newsroom in the 1980s, it’s the transformation of that space that I find both fascinating as well as frightening, in equal measure. Tune out the deafening noise of  24×7 news – cut the frills – journalism emerges in all its bare bones as the craft it really is or should be: an incisive tool for chronicling and analysing events. Ring side spectators or distant observers, members of the media, under all circumstances, are supposed to have their ear to the ground. In an ideal world, these couriers of news – mostly nasty and brutish these days – shouldn’t be attuned to corporate boardroom culture or its fiat.  Continue reading The Changed Face of the Newsroom: Monobina Gupta

The Media Barons and the Radia Tapes: Monobina Gupta

Guest post by MONOBINA GUPTA

The first formal discussion on the Radia-Media nexus by a section of top media professionals this Friday revealed the media’s general reluctance to put themselves through the same wringer of criticality that they so love to put others through. Barring Manu Joseph, editor of  Open Magazine, which put out in the public domain the tapes which had been lying  for days in the ‘safe’ custody of most media organizations, majority of the speakers argued that the controversy was not about Vir Sanghvi and Barkha Dutt; that there was no proof whether Sanghvi had actually written his ‘most read’ column as he had assured Nira Radia; that we do not know if Barkha Dutt had kept her word to Radia and passed on the message of the DMK’s internal dissensions to the Congress; that pressured by the minute-by-minute  demands of 24/7 TV channels, journalists have to make random promises (which they do not intend to honour!); that they have to play along with their sources to extract news etc. The list of extenuating circumstances offered by the media, now getting a taste of its own treatment, was quite revolting.

Continue reading The Media Barons and the Radia Tapes: Monobina Gupta

How ‘news’ became ‘interesting’

Our friend, like all stringers, would send Lucknow a lot of stories but all would go waste. A story a month, at the most, just a thousand bucks. Something interesting, get something interesting, the input editor on the other side of the mobile phone would say. Continue reading How ‘news’ became ‘interesting’