Debate on Kashmir journalism after senior journalist’s views

Debate on Kashmir journalism after senior journalist’s views

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“Young journalists should fight for their rights”

As long as sub-editors cum government servants continue to rule Kashmir journalism, we will continue to lose promising journalists to the government. By Naseer Ganai

Response to the above article (via The Hoot)

I believe there is a mafia wearing the robes of journalists and editors who want people to close their eyes to the moral degradation surrounding and devouring us. It needs to be cleared up. My fears are founded on the fact that I worked and interact with a number of people associated with this profession. I know many of them personally and I am thankful for their august company, for one becomes wiser. This is not the kind of journalism we read in books that is being gets to see in Kashmir. Certainly not the one you aspire to preach. We blame doctors for doing private practice and turn a blind eye to issues which may affects the people loyal to us. This is hypocrisy, worse even. Stories are killed to provide cover to corruption issues and agendas are formed behind closed doors. And when it comes to the men on ground, the bright, hardworking people who are at the bottom rung of the hierarchy, they don’t even pay them. No wonder then that some professional journalists are mulling starting sheep farms to earn a living for themselves and their families. Pity Jehangir Ali The Asian Age

— Jehangir Ali

Date – Saturday, 14 Apr 2012, 23:28:03
I request the admin of the Hoot.org to kindly supplement the comments with email id’s and ask for phone numbers etc as anybody can easily pass off as somebody else just to malign or slander someone else. I would always use a sobriquet for my name as K.Asif and here in the thread I see some comments made by this name. I urge the fake user of this name to have some moral sense and desist from such petty tricks. It does show your contemptibly narrow sense and outlook. Use your own identity if you have one. Asif Khan Faculty CU Kashmir k.asif11@yahoo.com

— Asif Khan

Date – Saturday, 14 Apr 2012, 23:03:45
I request the admin of the Hoot.org to kindly supplement the comments with email id’s and ask for phone numbers etc as anybody can easily pass off as somebody else just to malign or slander someone else. I would always use a sobriquet for my name as K.Asif and here in the thread I see some comments made by this name. I urge the fake user of this name to have some moral sense and desist from such petty tricks. It does show your contemptibly narrow sense and outlook. Use your own identity if you have one. Asif Khan Faculty CU Kashmir k.asif11@yahoo.com

— Asif Khan

Date – Saturday, 14 Apr 2012, 23:02:49
I request the admin of the Hoot.org to kindly supplement the comments with email id’s and ask for phone numbers etc as anybody can easily pass off as somebody else just to malign or slander someone else. I would always use a sobriquet for my name as K.Asif and here in the thread I see some comments made by this name. I urge the fake user of this name to have some moral sense and desist from such petty tricks. It does show your contemptibly narrow sense and outlook. Use your own identity if you have one. Asif Khan Faculty CU Kashmir

— Asif Khan

Date – Saturday, 14 Apr 2012, 23:02:19
Naser bhai, it is all rubbish you write. hurray!i m surprised to see that the title of your write up doesnt match with the content. i too have now been working in kashmir university close to merc and i know everythig about it. i too have been a student there. but i know the journalists as well. i know your stories too. i am sorry but your grammar is always not up to the mark. both our teachers in the university and our reporters must learn how to teach and report. but i have hope from young teachers who i believe will change the scenario soon. Wasim khalid comments without reading everyhitng that has been written here as criticism. he too seems to be blind and easily buys cynicism because he too recently appeared for PRO at central university recently. Check wasim’s grammar it is not of even a 9th standard student. read his stories on internet or on papers you will find for yourself. and him too. please stop criticising others unduely. we wont get anywhere by this mudslinging.

— Inam ur Rehman

Date – Saturday, 14 Apr 2012, 21:12:58
Brilliant piece Naseer Truth revealed by a great reporter. Wasim Khalid

— wasim Khalid

Date – Saturday, 14 Apr 2012, 19:20:21
Hats off… Naseer Bhai A very well written STORY ABOUT THOSE YOUNG AND ASPIRING JOURNALISTS… who narrate the tales of unheard people. you mustered the courage to talk about these people….many many thanks… These young people want to invest their talent in journalism, but it is unfortunate for the Kashmiri nation that talented people leave this profession and try to get absorbed in other jobs…the simple reason is very meager salary and no job security… if the trend continues time will come when Kashmir media will be seen gasping for its existence. As what i have been taught by my teachers during my masters in Journalism…that one can’t be a good editor unless he is a good reporter. A good reporter is simply the one who has more than five years experience in reporting… hope things will change….

— sameer showkin Lone

Date – Saturday, 14 Apr 2012, 19:13:47
Brilliant peice Naseer Bhai. They say empty tin cans produce much noise. There is a lengthy comeent by somebdoy which aptly describes it. I challenge him to write one invetsigative story. Those all people who talk less and work more become reporters. I agree with you that no teacher in all the three universities can teach journalism. Teaching journalism is not learning a simple theory or for that matter passing the so callled NET exam. Its about craft, persistence, pateince and an relentless urge to know things. With meage salaries, and a family pressure…its easy to succumb. But its only the jourlanlsits stone heart, and passion, which keep him going. which keeps him alive among the myriad number of people whose beleifs get diluted with just a single job order. With knowledge, craft and exprience, its only journalist whop can teach new students. Otherwise, these teachers, who are a confused lot, alaways denegrating the sacred profession of journalism since it has less monetary benefits, would confound students as well… After all, to be a jopurnalist in these tough cirumstances needs ball. They are not among those lot who wag their talils around the VC’s to get loves of bread for their whole life…. K Asif

— K Asif

Date – Saturday, 14 Apr 2012, 18:56:22
Dear Naseer A Ganai,many many congratulations for this truthful and unbiased analysis. Your story clearly explains the pathetic working conditions prevailing in the hapless Vale for reporters and journalists. It is only natural that this reality will surely bite the benefeciaries. It is no secret that most of the media organisations there in Kashmir are owned by non-professionals and the culture of work, quality of life and respect for a reporter, all this remains a dream. It is easy for those teachers to make sweeping comments, because they literally work for six months in a year; enjoy a three month long holiday as winter vacations, a fortnight as summer vacations and the rest of the official holidays and then unofficial holidays in the shape of protest strikes and curfews in Kashmir. It is the poor reporter who has to work throughout the year, without worrying about the freezing temperatures outside, the curfews, the strikes or the official and unofficial holidays. Their Sundays are Mondays and Mondays are Mondays. And I believe your analysis of the whole situation was based on a broader view without targeting any individual. Reporters/writers/journalists working in Europe or the USA enjoy a great working environment, culture of work, quality of life and as per the existing laws they work only for 7 hours and 40 minutes a day which is nearly 39 hours per week, as they have two holidays per week, usually on weekends. And if they work on the weekends, they enjoy holidays in the weekdays. Moreover, they are well covered with health insurance, get EPF, employees provident fund and if they work on weekends, day or night, they get extra money. which is paid to them in cash at the end of the month. But, as your story points out, no such facilities are enjoyed by the reporter in Kashmir. This is very saddening. Lastly, I see your report very comprehensive. It does not talk about one single point, but takes a holistic view of the entire scenario. But people who take things to heart and get personal are used to pick up holes in a very comprehensive report such as this one by yours. I congratulate you from the bottom of my heart for bringing these hard facts on the table. Cheers!

— A Abbasi

Date – Saturday, 14 Apr 2012, 15:14:09
Dear Naseer A Ganai,many many congratulations for this truthful and unbiased analysis. Your story clearly explains the pathetic working conditions prevailing in the hapless Vale for reporters and journalists. It is only natural that this reality will surely bite the benefeciaries. It is no secret that most of the media organisations there in Kashmir are owned by non-professionals and the culture of work, quality of life and respect for a reporter, all this remains a dream. It is easy for those teachers to make sweeping comments, because they literally work for six months in a year; enjoy a three month long holiday as winter vacations, a fortnight as summer vacations and the rest of the official holidays and then unofficial holidays in the shape of protest strikes and curfews in Kashmir. It is the poor reporter who has to work throughout the year, without worrying about the freezing temperatures outside, the curfews, the strikes or the official and unofficial holidays. Their Sundays are Mondays and Mondays are Mondays. And I believe your analysis of the whole situation was based on a broader view without targeting any individual. Reporters/writers/journalists working in Europe or the USA enjoy a great working environment, culture of work, quality of life and as per the existing laws they work only for 7 hours and 40 minutes a day which is nearly 39 hours per week, as they have two holidays per week, usually on weekends. And if they work on the weekends, they enjoy holidays in the weekdays. Moreover, they are well covered with health insurance, get EPF, employees provident fund and if they work on weekends, day or night, they get extra money. which is paid to them in cash at the end of the month. But, as your story points out, no such facilities are enjoyed by the reporter in Kashmir. This is very saddening. Lastly, I see your report very comprehensive. It does not talk about one single point, but takes a holistic view of the entire scenario. But people who take things to heart and get personal are used to pick up holes in a very comprehensive report such as this one by yours. I congratulate you from the bottom of my heart for bringing these hard facts on the table. Cheers!

— A Abbasi

Date – Saturday, 14 Apr 2012, 15:12:58
I read your piece with great interest. And my following comments are not because of my being a media academic myself at the Central University of Kashmir or not-being a working fulltime journalist but as an objective observer. You sparsely sound like some Marx of press world speaking to journalistic labourers of the valley. Well some of your points regarding rights of journalists in the valley are genuine but while one reads them one also wonders why a seasoned reporter like you talks it out like someone who is absolutely oblivious of the political and economic situations of Kashmir. You seem to reject all the analysis we would once carry about the chaotic functioning and opportunistic nature of considerable press in Kashmir. The theme your piece tries to expound needs one take a high moral ground as a journalist that you quite have taken. But doesn’t one ought to sound a true journalist while talking, even, about the problems in Kashmir journalism? How flawed some of your observations are and how much factual inaccuracy there is in your piece! When we draft a Style Sheet for ourselves we must draft the SS itself in the SS we want to draft, Remember! Please consider this: 1. ///Many of them who moved to national and international news agencies and newspapers, have proved themselves./// Well, I could enumerate that most of them who rather learnt writing/journalism there than carried it along and confounded anyone. 2.///So reporters here have got a notion that they could work as government servants and at the same time be sub-editors in newspapers. They think being an ‘evening-journalist’ and a government employee by day increases your sphere of influence…Ironically, after joining the government, they come back to newspapers, seeking job of ‘sub-editors’ in the evening./// I wonder why do you put it over the Govt. employees coming back as evening journalists when the same could be said about the vice versa phenomenon, you yourself talk in the beginning and ignore in the above reflection, good journalists wanting to have a government job in the daytime!!! 3. ///If a journalist applies for a teaching job in University and gets it, he will realise what he has been doing as reporter in newsroom. As Assistant Professor, he or she will draw a good salary. And we know what teachers do in the Universities. Except teaching and reading they do everything from backbiting to plagiarism./// I can endlessly enlist journalists/reporters who do the same you put on university journalism teachers in the above generalization. You too know many many names? Don’t you? 4. ///In the journalism departments of University of Kashmir, Islamic University of Science and Technology, and the newly established Central University you will not find any teacher with a journalism background. Except one teacher in the Mass Communication Department of Kashmir University no one has worked as reporter./// Now, none except you is more sure than you yourself that how untrue and inaccurate you are in this sweeping remark of yours. Apart from writing for the newspaper, wasn’t I your colleague at GK for a year and don’t you know about my working at Etalaat for a year more. And leave me, how much do you know about the others at the Central University of Kashmir? 5. ///They have been either bank clerks, or information officers. Unlike reporters who straightaway join a newsroom after doing Masters in Mass Communication and Journalism, the faculty in these three Universities had adopted a different course./// Fact check: We know who we are talking about here. Don’t we? Not bank clerks but Probationary Officers. 6. ///After securing an MA in Mass Communication, they take the National Eligibility Test and then join a government service until the Universities advertise posts for Assistant Professors. Because only NET qualified persons can apply for job and they get it./// How many times you yourself, though lightly, expressed a yearning to go for NET while we would walk up down the press colony or would go to have a burger at Hollywood or travel to Delhi for that fellowship interviews??? 7. ///And then they draw hefty salaries and pass judgment on copies of the reporters who despite meagre salaries and hard work come up with news stories every day./// I don’t know about the others but if you ask me, keeping aside the essential part of reporting (facts and matter and the way it is garnered with great difficulty in our perilous Kashmir), I would rather kill time in dozing off or idly throw pebbles in water rather read and comment the writing (craft and grammar) part of the news stories if am marooned on some island with copies of some ”top” local newspapers of Kashmir. 8. ///That is why all graduates of Mass Communication and Journalism Departments will tell you that they learn journalism in newsrooms rather than in universities. There they teach something which they themselves don’t know or understand./// I too fail to decipher some simple incidents that are reported with certain ambiguity and complexity around. 9. ///Journalism cannot be taught by those who have never been in the newsrooms. Instead Universities should hire senior journalists on contract basis for a year as faculty members. That would bring some journalism into journalism schools./// Now WTF is this? Are universities and journalism schools only meant to teach print and electronic media reporting only??? Everything you practice in the field has been essentially theorized in the first place. Your grouse is almost true about most of the media academics who have noticeably failed to demonstrate media pedagogy but you as a responsible journalist cannot be expected to judgementalize like this. And for that matter most of the established, remarkably famous reporters from Kashmir to India to United States were not trained in journalism at all. They came or come from various backgrounds. P Sainath reports/writes in leisure and is a visiting teacher at Asian College of journalism in South India. Robert Fisk has his PhD in Political Science. (Now please don’t try to compare some journalists in Kashmir with Sainath or Fisk, for heaven’s!) One of my colleagues, Shams Imran, at my department wisely makes this allegory: An automobile engineer designs and makes a car he is not supposed to be at the mercy of any driver who taunts him for not “knowing anything” about the cars because the wouldn’t drive one.

— Shahnaz Bashir

Date – Saturday, 14 Apr 2012, 09:53:11
Hats off Naseer bhai! This article has brought tears to my eyes. I can relate to each and every word of yours. I completely agree with you that full-time journalists should be given preference over government employee-cum-journalists. Let’s hope for the best!

— Rabia Noor

Date – Saturday, 14 Apr 2012, 09:49:33
Naseer, I agree with all what you said. We journalists of Kashmir have to take little share of the blame. If I refuse to work for say 4,000, there will always another person willing to work even for lesser amount, plus he will offer his serves as computer operator, accountant or maybe even clean tables for bosses. Did we ever stop working for day to press our demands. there is a need to shake seats of owners. Reminds me of Aalama “Jis khait say dehqan ko mayassar na ho rozi us khait kay har khosha e gandum ko jala do”

— Gowhar

Date – Friday, 13 Apr 2012, 19:54:17
nasser sir,,wonderful piece of workk..u have projected journalism and its plight in KASHMIR in a righteous manner…hats off

— mehak fayaz

Date – Friday, 13 Apr 2012, 19:30:15
Aptly describes the situation in Kashmir. I have myself seen it before shifting to Delhi. Pawan Bali Sr Correspondent The Asian Age

— Pawan Bali

Date – Friday, 13 Apr 2012, 19:10:09
A very well written article by the reporter. It is shocking to read about the conditions in which these reporters have to work. As a fellow journalist, I can sympathise from my position. However, sympathy is not what these reporters would seek. They should come out against the obnoxious beings heading the newspaper organisations. If the organisations can work by hriing government employees who know nothing about journalism then its better the reporters leave the task to them and resign from the job to lead a better and meaningful life.

— Sneha bhattacharjee

Date – Friday, 13 Apr 2012, 17:24:59

 


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  • http://www.muhabit.weebly.com Muhabit

    Well Said by naseer Bhai, Hats Off.
    Despite i joined as Trainee,i was given a byline of a Citizen Journalist. despite being the reputed newspaper of Kashmir. I Requested them 5 times but when they still kept doing that. I had no Option but to leave that organization. If u want to know What Journalism is never Join Kashmiri Local Organizations. They Exploit u every moment.

  • Aaqib

    Well said by Shahnaz Bashir. It is easy to say anything without verifying the reality.I think Naseer has now got realized the flaws in his article saying that only a single teacher has worked as reprter from journalism background in the departments of University of Kashmir,Islamic University and newly established Central University.But Shahnaz has impeccably given an answer to Naseer.

  • NAYEEM KHAN

    Naseer sahib.journalism is some thing which you really learn in the field only..in our kashmir there are journalists who are post graduates and doctorates in mass communication but unfourtuantely the editors are from english background only and they only know how to change the angles of the story. In this case y should one let his/her talent to go waste and work in this senario.the harsh conditons of journalists in neews romms is only due to editors .little knowldege is dangerous thing our editors in kashmir have hold on english only and nothing else which inturn affects the idea of ajournalist..”every nation has a kind of press it deserve”.conclusion is that our nation deserves this because our publishers and editors want soooo………………