Sundeep Bhutoria

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Sunday, August 4, 2013

When journalists play spoilsport

At SRK Press Conference
Last week while browsing through the television channels, which I rarely do, I saw Shah Rukh Khan's press conference was on in one of the channels. But what I saw next was not a very common scene for a press conference. I saw a number of media persons leaving their cameras and responsibilities behind to get up on the dais in order to get photographs clicked with him. Some of the lady journalists were more active than their male colleagues.
This resulted in chaos and many of the members of their own fraternity, especially the still camera photographers, were seen protesting and lamenting the loss of photo opportunity due to the mindless behaviour of their colleagues who cast a wet blanket on the conference which they had come to cover. It is quite obvious that newspaper editors, who are very particular and choosy about the photographs that go to the page for print, would relegate any picture of SRK and over enthusiastic journalists in the same frame to the nearest dust bin.
Just a day or two later, I went to another event at The Park Hotel to felicitate Kiran Bedi and I saw yet another SRK-like press conference situation unfolding before me. The moment Rituparna Sen Gupta entered some of the photographers climbed up on the sofa chairs on the dais to get her clicked with Kiran Bedi. One of my photographer friend told me that these things have, of late, become very common. He recalled that the same thing had happened when Ranbir Kapoor was in town recently. In fact in that event also few lady journalists walked up to him.
Kiran Bedi felicitation event
The media is always eager to capture the moments when celebs are around but there are certain ground rules to follow. Seasoned journalists know that trying to outdo one's colleagues doesn't help in any way. However recently few journalists showed that they don't have any sense of decorum and are overwhelmed by the presence of celebrities. They forget or have no inkling about the responsibilities that are expected of them as journalists. They don't have the faintest idea of what makes journalism such a respected profession.
Imagine a situation if security guards get overwhelmed by celebrities and leave their posts. Similarly, journalists too have immense responsibilities thrust on him or her by being in the profession. But things are changing fast and the new-gen journos are bringing disrepute to the profession. Some of the journalists of reputed newspaper houses are aware of this and feel that this is an ominous trend. Most mainstream newspaper houses have made their reputation over the years setting very high standards for its rank and files in the line of job.
A very senior journalist told me that he was not surprised by the turn of events as so many players have entered the media space. Are we entering an era where the idea of organising a press conference would be a terrifying prospect. The real media persons must stand up and salvage the situation before it is too late.
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