Media ‘Jugaad’- Telex to Twitter
By Rashmi Talwar
Two essential tools carried by a reporter- are a ‘nose-for-news’ and ‘Jugaad’- the quick-fix cleverness- the ‘mantra’ behind a great story or visual. Hence it was no surprise when women mediapersons attention was grabbed by ‘Telex to Twitter’ journey that changed ways of news gathering and threw open a novelty of routes with publics and where ‘Jugaad ’frequently played centre-stage .
(Barkha Dutt) A Popular figure on TV and Managing Director NDTV, used ‘Jugaad’ during the unfolding events in Egypt recently via a flip-phone using 3-G services and got a complete stream of the uprise, using ‘skype’ after their cameras and transmission equipment were confiscated by jittery officialdom, as it was seen to embolden the protestors.
In contrast, she relates to time when Abdul Ghani lone was assassinated in Kashmir- and not a phone nearby to report. Another ‘jugaad’ during Kargil conflict when video-tapes were handed to chopper pilots for delivery. Technology indeed has brought a revolution in every strata of news. She was recently addressing women mediapersons at the ‘South Asian Women in Media’ (SAWM) Regional Conference, India Chapter, in Delhi.
Electronic media doubtlessly faces more challenges, though ‘jugaad’ by print media is no less significant in situations risky or requiring presence of mind. At times, a prompt rejoinder or catchword can turn advantageous. A mere ‘yes’ or ‘no’ or ‘blank’ or ‘absence’ can draw a full fledged report.
However, mention of ‘Wikileaks’ made heads turn. (Siddharth Varadarajan ) The RE ‘The Hindu’ elucidated – the Breaking news- ‘MP Shopping’- Rocking Parliament, the connection with the ‘Virtual Internet Tsunami’ –Wikileaks. ‘The cables arrived in top-secrecy from London, uploaded using multi-passwords, studied, vetted before the dark lettering in print’. ‘Yes! We were figuratively labeled, even accused of ‘prurient’ interests for publishing this story’, he admitted and laughed and boomed ‘Journalism is eventually about ‘Power of media’ to take on the powerful’.
Ambika Soni as Chief Guest hailed women journalists as having touched cords and changed the way stories are told, “Stretching Frontiers”. Taking umbrage to gender bias she noted ‘Surely!’-‘it was crucial to sensitize both men and women to problems of women journos’ -We can’t shake hands with clenched fists’
Sunita Aron, RE HT drew nods when she related about covering dacoits, 25-yrs back. ‘Of the two rifled cops accompanying me, one of them asked ‘Are there no men in your office?’
While Shravan Garg Editor Dainik Bhaskar, admitted that women got hired in some papers only to cover women’s issues, the gender bias came to rule an audience that was genuinely perturbed over issues of equal pay, opportunity and maternity leave. All nodded in unison at the pointer that many incidents amounting to sexual harassment of reporters go unreported, because of strong urge not to be cowed down by demented men or self imposed ‘conspiracy of silence’ for being seen as ‘not’ tough enough.
However, it was the comment at the end of keynote address by Patricia Mukhim Editor, The Shillong Times, who called for a ‘break in the glass ceiling in a Ghetto of Patriarchy’ and at the same time censured those who have ‘slept their ways through’.
Sadly, despite Top Editors participation from media houses, not one had a ‘Jugaad’ to bring changes’ in their own establishment for women in media. …..