Tuesday, July 14, 2020
Home Opinions Sermoniser-in-chief, Rajdeep Sardesai, amusingly asks fellow journalists to 'save integrity'

Sermoniser-in-chief, Rajdeep Sardesai, amusingly asks fellow journalists to ‘save integrity’

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S. Sudhir Kumar
Obsessive eater, Compulsive sleeper, Repulsive Writer

Page 3 news is typically referred in a derogatory manner because it majorly consists of gossip or absurd news items. The Hindu so far has been an exception to Page 3 culture. Until today, when they came very close to becoming a Page 3 tabloid! Because of this news literally on Page 3!

I couldn’t stop laughing looking at the headline – of all people, Rajdeep asking others to save integrity! However, the headline is not the only hilarious thing in that article. Rajdeep Sardesai, the Senior Journalist with India Today who is known to do fluff interviews of Mamata Banerjee, Sonia Gandhi and the Yadavs and who once proudly proclaimed that he is anti-national, has once again managed to expose his own hypocrisy. I would like to, therefore, discuss Rajdeep’s thoughts

He said the cheapest way of broadcasting news is to hold debates in studios.

Dear reader, do you know what Rajdeep does every single day? At 9 PM, on India Today, he holds a debate. So, by his own definition, every single day he practices the “cheapest way of broadcasting”. Every single day. And yet here he is, delivering sermons at the Press Club of Hyderabad!

Mr Sardesai said news should focus on education, health, environment, science and technology.

Rajdeep Sardesai has been in this business for a very very long time. He has been the Editor-in-Chief of CNN-IBN for a few years too. This means he had the considerable clout to focus on “education, health, environment, science and technology”. Would he be willing to accept a simple challenge, and give us details of shows he has hosted on the above topics? Or what percentage of time did CNN-IBN spend on these topics, when he at the helm?

A couple of years back, he got a chance to interview the HRD minister of the country. He went so unprepared and got badgered by the minister, that this interview will be taught at journalism schools on how not to conduct an interview! My point is that when the opportunity threw up to talk about “education”, he screws up badly. And yet here he is, delivering sermons at the Press Club of Hyderabad!

Journalists should be objective, but presently journalists are being asked to take sides, Mr Sardesai said.

This is a serious allegation. Who has “asked” journalists to take sides?! People have only asked them to openly tell whose side they are taking. What irks people is that Rajdeep (and his friends) don’t come out openly and say that they take sides! They live in this make-believe world that they are the most “objective” people on this planet. All you need to do is watch Rajdeep’s show for a week to understand the hypocrisy in his statement. And yet here he is, delivering sermons at the Press Club of Hyderabad.

Mr Sardesai said, “We have to change what is considered news. Even good news is news. We should help build a better India”.

Boy o boy, what a realization this has been! We must again go back to the basic question – how many of his debates are centred around “good news”? How many shows has he conducted around “good news”. How much has he contributed to “a better India”? Why can’t he take the lead and start using his broadcasting slot for “good news”? If he thinks TRPs won’t come, why can’t he send one tweet a day, write one blog a week, do one video a month on some “good news”? Instead of showing the way, here he is, delivering sermons at the Press Club of Hyderabad.

Journalism in the Country faces several challenges including corrupt content, misuse of technology, lack of credibility and faulty business model of news production apart from lacking journalists with integrity”, Mr Sardesai pointed out

That’s quite a loaded statement! The first example that comes to mind when “misuse of technology” is mentioned, is how Sagarika Ghose faked an entire interview with Sri Sri (& Rajdeep was editor in chief at that time). “Lack of credibility” will arise if you openly lie about being beaten up, when the truth is that it was you beat up people. Normal citizens like me will see “corrupt content”, when you get a chance to interview Sonia Gandhi and ask her about Indira Gandhi’s role in the kitchen.

These are just recent examples. We can go back to the cash for votes days too, but I don’t want to delve any further. Sermoniser-in-chief, Rajdeep Sardesai, is simply awesome at giving advise but ranks very poor when it comes to following them. Page 3 seems to have been the apt place to place this news!

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S. Sudhir Kumar
Obsessive eater, Compulsive sleeper, Repulsive Writer

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