Archive for May 2nd, 2009

‘No better time to enter journalism than now’

2 May 2009

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Indian Express editor-in-chief Shekhar Gupta (in picture, left) has said there couldn’t be a more exciting time to enter journalism than the present one.

Delivering the convocation address to the Class of 2009 at the Indian Institute of Journalism & New Media in Bangalore on Saturday, he predicted that the present crisis in the media would lead to the second “Golden Age”.

Recalling that the Emergency had been called the worst time for young journalists, he said that there was a journalism boom immediately after the Emergency.

That, he said was the “Golden Age” of the Indian media.

The current crisis, he said, would wipe out the large amounts of space that we have for the average, the mediocre and the below-mediocre. Competence levels will go up, he said, adding that journalism has as many incompetent people and scamsters as has any other profession.

All talk of the demise of print journalism as we know it today is all noise, Gupta said, adding that the newsroom was going to be redefined with the introduction of competent, digitally-savvy journalists.

Exhorting young journalists to be curious, he rated curiosity as the essential quality for a journalist. He also asked young journalists to be more opinionated in the news room, than in their stories, to see everything as a story, and to uncover what those in power don’t want to cover.

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Photograph: Shekhar Gupta proceeds to deliver the convocation at IIJN. To his left is IIJNM vice dean Prof Kanchan Kaur (Karnataka Photo News)

8 dos (and 8 don’ts) on reporting swine flu

2 May 2009

The Swine Flu has still not made its way to India. So far. All the four people who were under observation are reported to have tested negative. But there is something about scary medical stories that draws the media like, well, flies to a wound, and it is more likely than not that more than a few editors and producers will be revving up to make the long weekend more exciting.

On the Canadian Journalism Project, veteran health reporter Maureen Taylor uses the opportunity to list a few dos and don’ts for reporters:

DO
*Hold goverment officials accountable for information they should have.
*Learn more about the influenza virus.
*Learn also about vaccines and anti-viral drugs.
*Know when to scale back coverage.

DON’T
*Press health officials to predict what’s going to happen.
*Report rumours from anyone, even health-care staff or patients in hospitals.
*Let editors and producers persuade you to twist the story.
*Wear a face mask unless you are in a room with a swine-flu-positive patient.

Read the full article: Vital homework

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