Media ‘Jugaad’- Telex to Twitter…SWAM (South Asian Women in Media)….By Rashmi Talwar

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. …..

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4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by akhil gautam on April 21, 2011 at 6:58 PM

    your caption Telex to Twitter is interesting but it seems the journey(of this piece)started a few years later.being of slightly older antiquity,I am aware of journalists being provided telegraph authority to file their news reports.This authority letter authorized us to file our stories though Telegraph offices with out pre-payment and bill would be collected by the Govt. from respective newspaper offices. around the same time wire services like UNI and PTI in India had German teleprinters ,called creed machines with a speed of about 45 letters a minute.Creed became a verb in wire service offices where reporters would ask desk man ” has my item been creeded?” And then came Hindustan Teleprinters around late 1960s. These “revolutionary” machines, then made in Madras, had a speed of about 70 letters a minute.along came a dialer attachment to these machines that converted it into telex.In 1980’s, I used The telex/telegraph authority to file my dispatches from New york to cover US Presidential elections.

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    • Thanks dear @AG for looking up this blog and then writing about the history of Telex …Great information here …Thks v much . Do keep reading this blog and commenting cos ur comment is commendable ! Cheers !

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  2. Posted by Harry Rakhraj on April 19, 2011 at 3:22 PM

    At long last..finally dawned on me..the meaning of the “heading”: “Telex to Twitter”!!!
    I kept wondering, how can one send a ‘telex’ to Twitter, in this age and day.
    I scratched my head..almost pulling out my hair..how could Rashmi– THE Rashmi Talwar!–do this to the Queen’s language !!??
    It was on the 4th, or was it the 5th? read, that it finally dawned on me. Eureka!! She’s talking about travel in time, from telex to Twitter. Phew!!

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    • I am glad ji THE Harry Rakhraj finally ….took a grip on the journey from telex to twitter …lolz…..do u know i started journalism with the telex facility and had to learn the block of thump-thumping on a type writer for some years before the computer came to our rescue …hahaha …

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