Who wants to be a journalist

Posted: 4 years ago

Who wants to be a journalist?  An intellectual?

 

By Paulo Afonso

 

Not all journalists are
intellectuals, conversely not all intellectuals wind up in journalism. Working
in the media is not conditional to honing one's critical thinking skills and
ironically those on the periphery and with negligible associations to
mainstream journalism, do and are turning out to be more avid analysts than
those within.       


 Much of the regular coverage that pixels our
coffee table Goan broadsheets could pass off for tepid narratives soaked in a
soup of visuals that trigger admiration more than reflection, or even action.
Even in those beats where the content is sexed up to arouse the reader, the
infatuation is temporary. The element of surprise, now you see but then you won’t.


Faced with a formidable,
technologically superior competitor, newspapers in Goa
are of late trying in vain to outsmart the web to gain upper leverage.  There is no perceptible upheaval at the moment
but eventually html will deliver the sucker punch that knocked off tomorrow’s
fish wrapper from your hands. Although there are still some  folks who devotedly tamper with their
Grundigs, video has definitely killed the radio star.


Today is the era where dot coms,
ezines and blogs are playing terminator. It’s already happening, albeit
sluggishly. Newspaper circulations counts are sinking to near negligible levels
and their subscribers are likelier to visit online news portals, rather than
the stands. With ever increasing logistical overheads and hovering inflation,
publication managers and editors are using all the stops in their kitty to keep
their customer base breathing. Since their hard copy fans are spurning them for
increasingly attractive virtual models without the baggage of commitments such
as monthly or annual advances, leading print media enterprises in Goa are now soliciting advertisers. Their editorial
spaces as detestable as public urinals but their advertising lounges swankier
than the Oval Office.  But even here,
newspapers are losing ground and they have no way of knowing. Advertising firms
have the option of getting the latest on the number of people viewing  their artwork, even where and when, if they
choose the softer version.  It’s not just
an economies of scale matter. Speed and reach are also of concern There is a
higher probability that Facebookers in Ireland
and Swindon are faster and better informed of an old woman being molested and
bludgeoned to death in Santa Cruz
than the neighbours in the victim’s vicinity. You can call the Union Home
Ministry‘s  bluff on the rescue of
stranded Indians by googling the latest updates on the strife-torn Iraq
crisis. That too in real time. By the time find the stuff screaming for
attention in the next day’s edition it will be mildewed and abruptly truncated.
The alibi that conservatives trumpet of tabloids and Berliners providing comparatively
richer in-depth coverage is not always worth its weight in type. Today
advertising, rather than the import of a story, dictates how wide and long it
will flow. 


Therefore, for good measure. more
and more people are abandoning the shores of the traditional press. A large
chunk of these deserters include youth (aged 30 and under) who use newspapers
to absorb spillages, instead of ideas. They prefer to furiously browse, not
flip And as innovations multiply rapidly, their tribe is swelling.

.