Thursday, September 20, 2007

Personal...

Over the last couple of days, I've reverted to type and am dispensing advice from 'K's Book of Wisdom' to several friends, all of whom are very well sorted in their professional lives but something have living, breathing disasters in their personal lives. The ironic bit is that my own personal life is a bit of a minefield and I've had the most godawful experiences in life and love, but, but then again, I guess I've always been one to take on the problems of the world. My Class 12 teacher even told me that I have this bad habit. Then again, I guess I've stopped offering unsolicited advice, but that said, I do have some friends whose lives are so knotted up, that it would take an Alexander to untie it.
But, the issue here is that almost all my friends who are going through issues in their lives are media professionals. I was trying to figure if that was because I tend to know more journalists than the average person or if it was because our lives are really rather messed up because of the way we lead them. At the end of the day, I guess that it is difficult to maintain the professional/personal balance for many of us. Lately, I haven't had much time to myself, let alone have time to give to another person. Not that I mind that, but I look at a couple of my Editors who slog away till midnight at times and wonder just how accommodating their spouses are. Needless to say, the spouses are not journo's.
It isn't always like that, and I should know better than most. If it hasn't been made painfully obvious before, my father is a senior journalist and his climb up the ranks, when he was in his early-30's put a huge amount of pressure on my parents marriage and unfortunately (or fortunately) the marriage gave way. You can't shed tears about something that happened close to two decades ago, but as the media has expanded dramatically and the pressures of the job have shot through the roof for many, many more people. Sometimes, we can make the most incongruous things become a life or death issue and put everything else on hold. We forget that sometimes a line needs to be drawn.
I'm not saying that the media is any different from other professions, but because I guess most times, we tend to be overly-educated, socially liberal sorts anjd if two of these species get together, particularly the smarter, better educated ones, something has to give. Maybe, these are just growing pains of a growing industry, or maybe this is just the start of the beginning. I'm not saying it hasn't happened before, there was a famous case at 'the' pink paper in Bombay about a decade ago where things were thrown at each other an estranged couple which worked there. It is just that it seems to be happening a lot more now. Or maybe, they're just so many, many more media-people now.
Anyway... I really need a break!

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am sorry to put this comment with this post, but there's another added pressure point these days -- advertising masquerading as content. NDTV's interview with Sachin Tendulkar had questions on why are Sunfeast biscuits great!! or, Bobilli Vijay Kumar's interview of Rahul Dravid has four questions on Reebok and what good shoes they produce!!! I am sure the advertisers/sponsors are journalists with exclusive interviews, but on condition that their products get due endorsement in the interview. Where are we going?

Shashikant said...

... but because I guess most times, we tend to be overly-educated, socially liberal sorts anjd if two of these species get together, particularly the smarter, better educated ones, something has to give.

K,

Even other industries, notably IT and Finance, attract educated crowd. And, I suppose, they outnumber media pros by 100x. Do you have any data from these sectors, even if it is anecdotal, to support your conjecture?

And you mildly contradict yourself as by your own judgment of many of the tv anchor(ette)s being airheaded.

K said...

Shashi, overly educated in the media sense is quite different from qualified. IT and Finance have qualified people, the Media has a bunch of people who may not have professional degrees but because, particularly in high-end English media outlets, their upbringing, and school/college education tend to overly-educated arts types and that is a totally different species from the well-educated professional course people.
And about some anchors being air-headed - I stand by that - just watch Aaj Tak for crying out loud!

Anonymous said...

Hi, I remember how an ITN cameraman clicked his heels in joy at the Ahmedabad airport at the end of an assignment covering the Bhuj quake. His boss in London was on the phone and he had been given a seven-day paid vacation to an Italian resort. For nearly two weeks we were together, living night after night in mosquito-infested makeshift structures, tents and even in maruti vans amid piles of debris and garbage. Pucca houses were not safe enough because of the aftershocks. But all of that proved to be worth it for the ITN crew. I bumped into the cameraman two years later on another tough assignment abroad. He was as chirpy. I asked if he would get leave as a reward again. "Sure,pal", he said "I told my girlfriend we'll do Argentina this time".

Even if Indian news organisations can't compete with money, the least they can do is give leave and acknowledge good, hard work from journalists, whether reporters or subs or designers.

Being overly-educated in an incestuous profession does have its problems. But I think newsmanagements are to blame for complicating lives even more. I'm not being naive. Journalists the world over, a friend once said, have lifestyles, not lives.

Buck up and cheers

Shashikant said...

K,

On an unrelated note, your wiki entry has gone missing. I know, you know ethics of wiki, but still.... Did you delete that?

K said...

I suggested it for deletion! I know the ethics but I felt that I had not done anything that spectacular yet in my life to deserve a Wikipedia entry! I'm not a publicity hound y'know!

Anonymous said...

Jane kaha mamu, ghar! you need to head home after a hard day! coming to reebok-dravid issue, I wonder are they going to put a blurb sort of thing how much x and y loves a and b. I donno why the hell editors are there. Are they doing something are cooling their heel in "sponsored shoes"?