Don’t get into journalism to see yourself on TV: Barkha

Mukund ww and Barkha Dutt spoke about responsible journalism.

The seventh edition of Bangalore Literature Festival 2018 saw an interesting line up of events for kids.

One of the most interesting sessions was ‘Ma, I want to be a Journalist’ by Barkha Dutt, author, journalist, columnist and anchor and Mukund Padmanabhan, editor, The Hindu, Chennai. The session was moderated by Shruthi Mohan of YourStory.

The session was aimed at children between age 11 to 15 years and the speakers threw light on various aspects of journalism and why teenagers should look at journalism as a career option.

The panelists talked about how they convinced their parents about their interest in becoming a journalist. Barkha threw light on how many parents even today are resistant to the idea of letting young girls becoming journalists. It is still a battle for many young girls to convince their parents, she said.

“When I was 11, I had no idea what I wanted to do in life and I will tell you that it is okay not to know. Today, I am 46 and sometimes, even today, I don’t know what to do. That feeling never goes away. One part of me wanted to be a journalist and the other part wanted to be a lawyer. It was only two years ago that I appeared for my law exam. What’s important is to spot your affiliated interests or talent,” Barkha told the crowd.

Talking about the battles of a journalist, she said that though the profession looks glamourous, real reporting can mean not eating for hours and being in hostile situations.

She added that it is a job that is a bit like a doctor’s — you have to be on call 24/7. She advised the children not to choose this profession if they want to see themselves on TV but only if they are interested in news, current affairs and care about what’s happening around them.

Her advice — start writing for school magazines and newsletters.

Mukund advised children there not to become a general purpose journalist but to back up their interest by studying about specific areas like sports, food and politics.

The panelists also spoke about journalism in the world of social media. They reflected on how social media is shaping the way news channels and newspapers cover news. 

Barkha said that currently, there are a lot of dangerous things happening on social media and it important to master the game in order to bring out the good things of this platform.  

Mukund said that traditional media should be more sensitive and should stand up for more responsible journalism. 

Lastly, the panelists spoke about their favourite projects and experiences and how they handled difficult situations. 

A highlight of the event was the impressive amount of knowledge exhibited by the young children about current events.

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Don’t get into journalism to see yourself on TV: Barkha

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