More recently, I found myself outside the burnt remains of the Tourist Reception Centre in Srinagar on the eve of the flag-off of the Muzafarrabad-Srinagar bus service. Standing there, I knew I was part of a great story.
So there you have it. The kick/high a reporter enjoys while on assignment. The adrenalin rush that keeps you going, that lets you see the big picture -- the package.
Codey, in his comment to my previous post, says:
"Media does not any longer report real news, there is no value attached to what actually happened, the value is in how you present it and milk it for your own good."Key phrase: "... what really happened ..."
There is no absolute truth. What we believe to be true is nothing but our faith in our senses, or in an experience, or in a person's account. The truth is that apples are red because our eyes say so ... ask a colour blind man what the colour of an apple is. This may seem to be an oversimplification, but the truth is that which we choose to believe in. This choice isn't always concious, but it is always exercised.
"... what really happened ..." is an account and an experience.
It is a journalist's job to not only state the facts of the case: the death toll in Mumbai, but also to get an increasingly jaded populace to understand the magnitude of the story: the sheer scale of destruction in Mumbai.
The "packaging" is, or should be, an attempt to do so.
The motive, the reason behind an action, is as important as the act itself.
So, if you choose to do something very right for all the wrong reasons, there is something wrong.
If, on the other hand, your motives are pure -- in journalism, the drive to inform and help shape opinion -- then the act is acceptable and responsible, and to be lauded.
Indian journalism, despite all the naysayers out there, isn't so far gone yet. Certainly dumbed down, it still retains at its core a certain altruistic drive. One, without which, each and
every one of us would be left bereft and anchorless -- floating from one story to the next, from one package to the next with a mind numbing detachment.
We would be the worst things possible: professional 24x7 cynics.
On a lighter note, download a song allegedly created at one of the IITs about the holy smoke. The chorus rocks: bahin chod sutta, sutta na mila. Download the song here.