Practising Journalism - Values, Constraints, Implications


About the Author - Dr. Nalini Rajan is associate professor at the Asian College of Journalism in Chennai. Her key academic areas are key issues; deprivation; identity politics; democratic practices and institutions. The other two books penned by her are Mass Media, New Technology, and Culture and Secularism, Democracy, Justice.

The GenX journalists of today (including me) have had it much easier in life. Neither do we have to scan through bulky newspaper archives for a past report nor do we have to visit libraries for research work. All it takes is to enter a "key word" on the internet search page and in a blink you have hundreds of pages on the topic you've been looking for.

Why I mention this is because Dr. Nalini Rajan's Practising Journalism - Values, Constraints, Implications throws light on the journalism days gone by starting from the days of the British Raj and the kind of conditions that journalists and the publishing industry used to work in. At the same time, it also dwells on the days to come. An interesting collection of factual accounts from various editors and journalists highlighting the dos and don'ts of journalism is how this book can be best described as.

If you want a crash course in the history of the Indian press and the trials and tribulations it underwent from the times of the Colonial rule, till date; then this is the book to read. Rajan gives us a more-than-brief introduction to the content of the book, which tells us in a jiffy what to expect in the 400 page tome. As Rajan puts it, the history of journalism is not linear but consists of a series of criss-crossing loops.

This book, which has been divided into four parts, has contributions from stalwarts like B R P Bhaskar, N Ram, Harivansh, Dilip D'Souza, Mukund Padmanabhan, Valerie Kaye, Darryl D'Monte, Pamela Philipose, V Geetha, Nirmal Shekar, Devinder Sharma, Kalpana Sharma, Lawrence Liang, S Anand, MH Lakdawala, Praveen Swami, Shyam Tekwani, Bindu Bhaskar, Robert Brown, Robin Jeffrey, S Gautham, KP Jayashakar and Anjali Monteiro, Mahalakshmi Jayaram, Steven S Ross, Ashish Sen and Anjali Kamat.

While it is a comprehensive account of what the Indian press was / is all about, it does at times become more of a platform for contributing editors to tom-tom about their newspapers. One such example is a chapter by Harivansh where he glorifies Prabhat Khabar and tells us how it emerged a winner without bending the norms and succumbing to various external pressures.

It also dwells on topics like the growth of the regional and 'national' media in India, investigative journalism, sting operations, Page 3 journalism, online journalism, rural and urban reporting, agricultural reporting, sports journalism, sensationalism in reporting and the new age journalist.

Overall, it's an interesting and comprehensive piece of reading, which tries to touch upon every important aspect of journalism with illustrative articles.

By Hetal Adesara

Title Practising Journalism — Values, Constraints, Implications
Author Nalini Rajan
Source Sage
Price Rs 450

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