Monday, February 8, 2010

5th letter to Editor's Guild: Coverage of Bt. Brinjal

Acutally I just pasted the media section from this long post of mine on Bt Brinjal public forum, and sent it as a suggestion mail to the Editor's Guild. For the record, am pasting it here. Please click on the Editors Guild label below to access the other four letters.
Dear Sirs,

I was at the Bt Brinjal public forum in Hyderabad last Sunday. I wrote a detailed blog about my observations of the views and mood across the hall, Jairam's good moderating skills, and my comments on his comments. I have provided links for the CNN-IBN expose, the environment's ministry's primer etc.

I also wrote about my observations about how media could have better covered it too. Am pasting only the media part of it here. Hope you take it as a positive feedback while considering framing guidelines.

First major complaint. Jairam said that he was disappointed at the ways of expression of displeasure. TIMES NOW says this "Jairam Ramesh disappointed by dissent against Bt.Brinjal" !!! At no point did he say he was for or against Bt.Brinjal.
There were scores of cameras in the auditorium. All of them were just pointed to the dias. Seldom (or maybe at no point) were they turned around to capture the video of those concerned, patriotic citizens who made time to participate in this process. Most of the views were not even recorded, most of them not photographed. But the moment a group of people barged in shouting slogans, they were all over the place! The moment the session concluded, they were all over the dias (like a swarm of bees) surrounding the minister. What were they losing if they tried to film all those who were making their points? Wouldn't it have been great if bits of their arguments (both for and against) were telecast in the media, instead of just showing shouting protestors? Wouldn't it have set a fine example of journalism?I had a premonition from the morning that the media will just cover the protests part of it and nothing else. Were there protests at the event - yes. Were they an eyesore/earsore at times - yes. But for crying out loud, there was about a 2 1/2 hour discussion (and I was there for the latter half) at the auditorium on this issue and all we get from a reputed journalist by name Sagarika Ghose is this - "Bt Brinjal causing large scale protests. jairam ramesh needs to make a comprehensive statement". When infact he made as comprehensive a statement can get from that very dias!

If you wish to read about the different views expressed across the hall, please feel free to visit my blog here:

Best Regards,
S. Sudhir Kumar


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