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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

When Commitscion Prema Sridevi's Times Now story became the talk of Parliament


Prema Sridevi (Class of 2005) interviews the former Home Secretary...


...and the next day the story is brought up in Parliament.

THE EXCLUSIVES/Prema Sridevi (Class of 2005)

I was able to get the first interview of former IB (Intelligence Bureau) Special Director Rajendra Kumar, who spilled the beans on the Ishrat Jahan controversy. And then I was again able to get the first interview of former Home Secretary GK Pillai in which he told me that the LeT reference was deleted by someone above his level.

The national media followed this story and it was also brought up in Parliament.

On March 1, we once again aired another "First Big Interview" (see below) of the man who signed off on those affidavits. Both the Congress and the BJP held press conferences in New Delhi after this interview.

I am hopeful that after all these revelations there will be a fresh probe into this entire case.


You can watch this exclusive interview by Prema here.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

We can't ignore typos in a blog post by a sub-editor, can we?

A few days ago I came across a terrific blog post titled "A day in the life of a sub-editor". Everything written in the piece spoke to me because I've been a deskman all my life. But... there were two horrible typos that ruined the article for me. So I wrote to the commissioning editor of The Walkley Foundation, the Australian organisation that publishes the blog:

Hello Clare,

This is Ramesh Prabhu, professor of journalism at a media college in Bangalore, India.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this "excerpt" from Charles Purcell's diary: 
http://www.walkleys.com/a-day-in-the-life-of-a-sub-editor/

​I was a deskman for many years with newspapers in India and Dubai, so I get where he's coming from.

May I point out a couple of typos, though?

In the first paragraph​, there's this line: "...educate them into the correct use of 'myriad'."

Shouldn't that be "...educate them on the correct use of 'myriad'"?

Of course, I understand "...educate them into..." may be a colloquialism in your part of the world. But in the second paragraph there is surely a typo:

"Passenger accuses me of vandalism, until I point at that I am, in fact, a sub-editor..."

That should be "Passenger accuses me of vandalism, until I point out that I am, in fact, a sub-editor..."

Regards,

Ramesh

***
Not too long afterwards, I received this e-mail from Clare:

Hi Ramesh,

Thank you for your email, it’s wonderful to know we have a reader in Bangalore. Glad you enjoyed the piece, and thank you for pointing out the typos – I knew it was only a matter of time before someone spotted something!

We’ve corrected those now.

Thanks again,

Clare Fletcher

Program Manager
The Walkley Foundation for Journalism
Commissioning Editor
The Walkley Magazine
T: +612 9333 0925 | M: +61432 616 810 | E: clare.fletcher@walkleys.com  |  www.walkleys.com

***
Now I can happily recommend "A day in the life of a sub-editor" to everyone. Read it here.


RE CORRECTING TYPOS, ALSO READ:

Monday, March 7, 2016

Two top-notch TV news bulletins...

...produced by the AVC (Audiovisual Communication) Batch of 2017 were screened at Commits on Friday, March 4.

One of the guests commented after the screening: "I did not expect this quality." But then this is the AVC Batch of 2017, for the first time in Commits history, an all-female AVC batch. They worked so hard to make this day happen  we are all very, very proud of them.

Watch the news bulletins here:

Commits TV-1: Produced by Sreya Chatterjee, Sudeshna Dutta, Sriparna Ghosh, Ria Nag, Ritika B.S., Sahana S., and Moumita Basu


*
Commits TV-2: Produced by Shristi Thapliyal, Shreesha Ghosh, Sneha Rudra, Sudeshna Bardhan, Meghana Khare, Soumya Matham, and Dona Dey


***
Also, MMC (Marketing and Management Communication) students Rima Tandon, Ankita Sarkar, and Abhishek Biswas, who had worked on a documentary together with Debashree Sengupta in January, were very keen to produce a TV news story too. So, over a few days last week, they put together this report on a play being staged in Bengaluru as part of the Deccan Herald Theatre Festival. This is an excellent effort. Congratulations to RimaAnkita, and Abhishek! Watch their news clip here:


Thursday, March 3, 2016

Once a journalist, always a journalist

Commits alumnus Ayushman Baruah (Class of 2008) on why, after a brief stint as a corporate communications professional, he has returned to his first love, journalism:

AYUSHMAN BARUAH
Journalism is unlike any other profession. The great Gabriel Garcia Marquez has gone on record as saying a journalist has the best job in the world. I am in complete agreement. It’s a rare profession in which a salary is immaterial. If I were making enough money through other sources, I would be willing to work as a journalist for free. I can’t think of any other profession that one would be willing to do for free. (Sure, there are exceptions to every rule!)

There is a reason why journalism can be, and most often is, a great profession. And I am talking about good journalism here — that’s the assumption I am making throughout this article. Journalism gives us an outlet to voice our opinions and share it with the larger public. As human beings, we all have an inherent desire to express our feelings and be heard and here is a profession that allows us to do so in a professional way with the added elements of style and context. What more can we ask for?

Journalism also keeps you away — mostly — from the corporate rigmarole of preparing and maintaining unnecessary Excel sheets and PowerPoint slides, and attending routine team meetings, which often don’t serve any good purpose. To me, Excel files and PPTs are good-to-have tools in an MBA class. Beyond that, a waste of time and effort. Journalism, on the contrary, is more real and grounded. You write articles based on first-hand interviews with the people you meet and these pieces have interesting stories to tell, stories that often have an impact on the people, the company, or the issue concerned.

AYUSHMAN BARUAH'S NEW HOME

During my recent short stint as a corporate communications professional with a software company in Bengaluru, I spent most of my time coordinating and following up with regard to routine tasks such as pending payments and approvals for a press release. To make things worse, I had hardly any control over what I wrote or said, which is the norm for a communications employee in the corporate world: Everything has to be first approved by the company and everyone has to follow a process. Nothing wrong with that, one might argue and I might agree, but if you are a journalist at heart, it will prick you; somewhere it pains.

Not surprisingly, I got out of that role to become a journalist once again. Yes, once a journalist always a journalist. I am hoping I will now write more than coordinate, and use more MS Word instead of MS Excel.

  • On March 1, Ayushman Baruah joined Business World as Associate Editor. Before becoming a corporate communications professional with a software firm in Bengaluru, Ayushman was Senior Correspondent — Equities with Cogencis Information Services (formerly NewsWire18). He has also worked in senior editorial roles with InformationWeek and The Financial Express

ON OCTOBER 4, 2013, AYUSHMAN, WHO WAS THEN THE PRINCIPAL CORRESPONDENT OF INFORMATIONWEEK, RECEIVED THE POLESTAR AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN JOURNALISM, ARGUABLY THE HIGHEST AWARD AS FAR AS BUSINESS AND TECHNOLOGY JOURNALISM IS CONCERNED. HE RECEIVED THE AWARD FROM TATA SONS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR R. GOPALAKRISHNAN AND POLARIS CHAIRMAN AND CEO ARUN JAIN AT A CEREMONY AT THE ITC SHERATON PARK HOTEL IN CHENNAI.

  • READ Ayushman Baruah's insightful piece on what it takes to be an IT journalist here.