#MediaRumble: Word limit-bound reportage has turned journalists into authors

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Non-fiction writing is a rigorous form of journalism, says Manu Joseph.

The Media Rumble’s third session, The Author as Journalist, featured Manu Joseph, Prayaag Akbar and Rahul Pandita. The panel moderated by Anubha Bhonsle discussed non-fiction writing as a rigorous form of journalism and the stories behind journalists turning into authors.

While Joseph is a journalist and author of The Illicit Happiness of Other People, Akbar has authored Leila and is Scroll’s former deputy editor, and Pandita, author of Our Moon has Blood Clots: A Memoir of a Lost Home in Kashmir, has reported extensively from conflict zones.

Speaking to the journalists-turned-authors on the panel, Bhonsle said there is a gap in mainstream journalism, a lack of space for a certain kind of reportage that leads to the making of a journalist as an author.

“I think of myself as a journalist first,” said Pandita. “I wanted to be a journalist because I wanted to write about these things that could not be contained in 600-word reports,” he said, referring to reporting from conflict zones.

“Journalism is understanding a small slice of life but there is so much that you see which can’t become part of a journalistic writing,” Akbar said, describing his reasons to author a book.

To hear more about the panel’s journey and reportage, watch the session below.

#MediaRumble: ‘If you want to do away the Lutyens’ media mindset, you have to do away with Lutyens’

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Kanchan Gupta and Nalini Singh, Mihir Sharma, and Swapan Dasgupta discuss the might of the Lutyens’ media.

The Media Rumble’s second session, The Power of Lutyens Media, was moderated by Ashok Malik, the newly-appointed press secretary to the incoming President of India. The panel included veteran journalists Kanchan Gupta and Nalini Singh, columnist and ORF fellow Mihir Sharma, and Rajya Sabha MP Swapan Dasgupta.

The panel’s discussion ranged from the mythical Lutyens’ media and its impact on news narratives, the credibility of mainstream media and the problems facing the Delhi-centric media. Kanchan Gupta was of the view that, “The problem with Lutyens’ media is that you decide what is good for your reader, you set the agenda.” He also said that media themselves are responsible for the lack of credibility. Taking about Lutyens’ media Singh said, “We are the only country in the world which has socialist ‘socialites’.”

Following a critique of the Lutyens’ media’s coverage, Dasgupta said, “If you wish to do away with the Lutyens’ media mindset, you have to do away with Lutyens.”