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Dimensions Matter In News And Views

Updated: May 5, 2012 10:37 am

The book unfolds many leaves about the lives and work of some of the most outstanding women journalists who in fact not only redefine the profession of journalism on a daring and challenging note but also gives a whole new meaning to the making of news, more importantly in terms of values and themes. Focusing on different aspects of the journey braving the odds and covering the event and unearthing the rackets, the novel touches these rough edges of the job. The remarkable and groundbreaking work done by these scribes have won them the prestigious Chameli Devi Jain Award for their outstanding contribution to society. Everywhere right across the north, south, east and west of India these women have exposed corruption, child labour and caste massacres, uncovered financial scams, fought against atrocities committed against women, championed human rights and celebrated when their stories have been catalysts for change. Now the scenario has undergone a sea change, the media is running on modernized and adequately equipped runway at high speed. Post a tweet and write a blog is a common sight in the prevailing time that helps one stay connected through the medium of internet. Earlier on, journalists were not at all hi-tech so was the medium. Typical jeans and kurta clad with desi thongs hunting for stories and filing hand typed pieces, and most times from a post office, used as a conduit to get reports to the desk, was a tedious job.

Making News, Breaking News, Her Own Way talks of women and the profession of writing in broad sheets coming a long way, right from the time the profession was a stronghold of men only, when they were relegated to covering flower shows and beauty pageants, to the present day, when no area is a forbidden territory, whether it be the Kargil or Drass Sector war, terrorist attacks on Akshardham, militancy in Kashmir, insurgency in the north-east Indian, Afganistan-Taliban crossfire and all that falls in between.

Panning across two different faces and eras of reporting and the times travelled through turbulent times of the then journalism so impactful and efficacious though without a relevant degree and the one now with formal education with a flair for writing a good piece and a good nose for a story and a knack for journalistic coverage, exceptions should and may be there. The stories range from the days of Prabha Dutt (Barkha Dutt’s mother)) and Usha Rai, torchbearers for the whole generation of women journalists, to those like Tavleen Singh, Barkha Dutt and Madhu Kishwar, who are at the forefront of the media today. This book also pays tribute to India’s first photographer Homai Vyarawalla, who captured a whole era of great historical change with her lens.

This book is an elaborately defined endeavor supplying all the information related to journalism and its ethics as a whole. The treasure contains myriads of experiences juxtaposed by renowned and established writers and journalists with subtle nuances and subtleties of the job a scribe is assigned to. I must say that it’s a must read, particularly by those who are into the profession of making news, breaking news and reporting news. The contents comprise lessons like “Following Media Trajectories”, “Giving Voice To The Voiceless”, “Reporting The Communal Divide”, “History Through A Lens”, “Right To Information A Formidable Tool”, “Why Women Matter”, and “Exposing Business Unusual” that intrigue really everyone whether one is a part or not of journalist fraternity.

By Shvveta Arora

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