It’s sad that I have to sit her and write this post today against a woman I looked up to and believed in- Barkha Dutt. I have always been interested in the media and Barkha Dutt was really my first introduction to the world of journalism. I believed that she had some mettle and the will to make a change, reporting stories that had value and did not indulge in stupid sensational jornalism. But that was aeons back.
And now as I sit here and type this in, I am angry, hurt and upset at her insensitivity and stupidity. This post should have come long back, right after the Mumbai massacre but I guess its Chandni and the Mad Momma who reminded me of the rage through their posts that I have actually sat down and decided to pen it down. Not only has she let all of us down but also proved to the world that she is too caught up in her own halo to take criticism and work on it.
As I sat and saw the massacre unfold on television over 60 ghastly hours, what struck me the most was how television journalism was really using this event to raise their TRPs instead of doing their job- reporting. Senior journalists like Barkha Dutt were shoving their cameras and mikes into people’s faces asking them how they felt about the carnage and what was happening. I am sure it was a tough job being there in the media of that horrible event and it must ahve taken a toll both physically and mentally, but to behave like insensitive blokes was a different ball game altogether. Yes, we understand your position…but we are disappointed at how you handled it. And we are disappointed that you cant take criticism. I was so disgusted with the reporting that in my sense of outrage I called up NDTV and wanted to speak to someone senior. Not only was my call transferred to atleast 10 people, somebody very rude came on line, asked me to mind my own business and hung up. WTF? We see your channel and thats why you get paid. If you cant handle people telling you what they feel, this is not your cup of tea honey.
If you believe in the power of journalism, you should also realise that it also means a freedom of expression. So if you are free to shove your camera in people’s faces at their time of grief and sorrow, we are also free to express our disgust at the way it was done.
While all you great reporters out there have the right to express your opinions and report the way you want to, its really time that you learn to take criticism in the right way and live upto the tag of responsible journalism. Your job is to report for the people and if the people feel you are not doing the right thing, it is definitely your job to sit up, take notice and correct your actions…not pull up a blogger who has said what he wants to. Pick somebody your own size if you want to fight. Really