Selling Journalism

Journalism should be above bias.

About twenty-five years back I attended a ceremony being hosted to honor a veteran journalist. In his speech, he preferred to compare himself with a doctor. He considered both the professions to be sacred, though now a-days doctors are more in news for wrong reasons.

I was prompted to write this piece by reading the blog – Politically Incorrect   It’s time to chuck de Kaushik and Hockey India by  Shobhaa De,  25 July 2010 TOI

One of the compulsions with writing is that it should have readers. The readers probably are not interested in reading plain reporting. The recipe is relished with peppers and garnishing. But most of the times the recipe is entirely different from the basic ingredient.

Shobha De is a respected writer. But I will pick up some of the pepper part in the blog.

“Startled and scared female player” The words though express the expressions on the face of player, were definitely not seen by the author.

There is another adjective ‘obnoxious question.’ Though I do not agree with the question, but considering the level of development of Shobha De and the hockey players, there is nothing obnoxious about the question. In one of other blog questioning Khaps on gotra issue, she was pretty assertive on independence and importance of decisions of woman.

Power is never given by anybody to anyone, it is always acquired. If women keep on speaking the language of silence, then it will be invariably associated with exploitation. Disgrace in any dispute,  including sexual ones, is always bilateral.

Is author sure that there is no politics in it? Does the version of allegedly “disgraced coach” does not carry any substance? Do you think that so many players (31 signed the document) have been suffering from so many years?

There is another very popular theory with the women, men have nothing at stake. They do not have any reputation. Fantastic!

Then there is “Conspiracy of Silence”

I do not know, what transpired between the coach and players, but this piece of writing is just another pepper in recipe, which sells of course. 

There are numerous examples of such writtings. The problem with the authors is that they have to be in business as they have to write that sells. Best sellers have to see readers’ interest and have to write material that sells. After all something justifies writting only if it is read. It has to be worth the paper on which it is published or the time, the reader spends on it. Number of comments, and matter in the comments tells about the interest of the readers.It is the readers who thrust upon themselves such pieces of writtings. The conspiracy may not be only in silence, but may be in letter,  politics, writting and reading too. 

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