Fusing journalism and TB – telling the stories as they are

Information must flow – any which way

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I had a mail from an NGO about a week ago. It was from a lady who had an interesting programme going. She was very appreciative of JATB but wanted me to write about her programme or get a friend to write about it for the mainstream media. While I gladly offered to feature it on JATB, I did not give her any guarantees for getting space for the story in the mainstream media for obvious reasons. The lady replied very politely, thanking me for my offer, but equally politely declined my offer to feature her story on JATB. She had concerns about her target audience not being able to access the information through a blog.

End of story? Not really, because it got me thinking. She had in some way blocked the flow of information by narrowing her options and restricting her choices. And this in a day and age when information can flow freely at a pace that we can set for ourselves. I would like to draw an analogy here between information and water. Both have a way and will of their own. You cannot restrict both. Ever heard of water getting blocked just because a big rock sat in its way? It will just find a way around the rock and continue to flow. So also information. New media, social media, new spaces for dissemination – these are not just words to be bandied around. They are real, they are powerful and used properly, they are powerful tools that can get us where the mainstream media probably cannot, not to take away from its value.

Wouldn’t the lady and her programme been better served if she had chosen to let information flow any which way? My advice to her and others like her, is to unlearn some of the ways we have chosen to communicate. As a journalist friend of mine says, each of us knows how to communicate from the day we are born. Let’s keep all those skills alive, let’s use all the options available to us. Think about it.

A Very Happy New Year! I’m not sending out cards this year! I’ve learnt use JATB in different ways!!

Bharathi Ghanashyam

Written by JournalistsAgainstTB

December 27, 2011 at 1:50 pm

Posted in TB and Media

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