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