Fusing journalism and TB – telling the stories as they are

Making friends of the media

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The NGO community ( I will refrain from terming it civil society because that infers the rest of society is uncivil) wants to be friends with the media. And the media couldn’t care less. Reminds me of myself in school. There was this hugely popular girl everybody wanted to be friends with. I spent a considerable amount of time devising methods to ensure I would be on top of her friends list. I tried everything; gave her chocolates, lent her my notes with greater eagerness than was necessary and hung around her endlessly. Whenever she even deigned to smile at me, I imagined I had succeeded. Till the day I realised, with considerable shock that she did not even know I existed. I was just a face in the crowd! I was too young then to know that I would probably have been better off spending my time finding out her interests, finding out what made her tick if I really wanted to be her friend. Because my need was greater than hers and therefore I had to make all the effort.

Today I can draw a parallel between my clumsy attempts to make a friend of her, with what the NGO community wants to do with the media. The NGO community has tried it all. Trainings with huge budgets, junkets to conferences across the world, special facilities et al – the media without exaggeration is the most pampered entity wherever and whenever. The result? Not much! The media is clever and continues to determine its own priorities despite aggressive wooing by NGOs. Which makes me think that like me when I was a little girl, the NGO community has probably not given too much thought to what the media really wants. And the greater need here too is of the NGO community and not the media.

So where are we? That’s what JATB tried to find out. We got an NGO spokesperson and a media person to speak with each other with no holds barred. The outcome is interesting, revealing and might just give fresh insignts into how the NGO community and the media can understand each other better. Await the discussion. On JATB in the first fortnight of 2012.

Bharathi Ghanashyam

Written by JournalistsAgainstTB

December 24, 2011 at 3:12 pm

Posted in TB and Media

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