ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

NireekshakSubscribe to Nireekshak

The World View

prevails today, it would be most unfortunate if the conference was located in areas where parochial issues would be emphasised. The fixing of the New Delhi venue would surmount this ob vious hazard. It is incredible that our foreign policy planners have not seen this as a major threat to the revival of the elan of the non-aligned.

The Name of the Game

astrological terms, the fact remains that the ruling Congress Party is at last beginning to feel the consequences of attempting to use power without an organisation at the base.

The President Is Obliged ...

 assured us that "we have no hand in it [the Cambodian coup]". But need they have? Even if the Senator were right he would still miss the point. Gen Lon Nol, it would seem, represents a way of thinking which is not altogether uncommon in Asia. Besides, people like him have power. Under various pretexts they have retained it. When, in their view, the civilian leadership takes liberties which they do not like they can always strike. That is what they have done in Cambodia. Gen Lon Nol would have to show considerable statesmanship and astuteness to demonstrate that he is not one of those generals whom we have come to know from Greece to Formosa. But why would he have, in that case, deposed the Prince in the first instance ?

Sick Ones All

internal and external markets. Long- term measures to increase production and to embark on a massive programme of re-plantation and extension have been hanging fire for long. Producers claim that their profit margins have shrunk so substantially that they cannot finance these operations from their own resources. With the "proper induce- merits", the industry has easy hopes not only of boosting production to accommodate the galloping increase in internal consumption

A Lament to Remember

A Lament to Remember Nireekshak THE annual report of the Bombay Union of Journalists for 1969 contains certain observations which are remarkable for their frankness. They have undoubtedly a relevance beyond the confines of the profession in Bombay. It is rarely that a Journalists' organisation blames journalists for their many plights. The annual report under review is quite severe on its members when it says that the "utter apathy displayed by them towards their own cause'' is the main reason for their "miserable" conditions of life. "A parasytic interest a section of them have developed in extra-journalistic activities, not necessarily above board all the time, a growing tendency to find a place for oneself in the good books of the management to secure narrow self-aggrandisement,'' the report says, " are some of the basic weaknesses threatening the profession." CORE, OF THE PROBLEM This observation has, I think, touched, probably unconsciously, the core of the problem that journalists face all over the country: the problem of professionalism. It would not be untrue to say that though journalism has acquired the status of a profession, there are few things that bind journalists together other than the accident that all of them happen to practice the same profession. Neither the Indian Federation of Working Journalists (IFWJ) nor the All-India Newspaper Editors Conference (AINEC), the two most prominent journalist bodies, the latter albeit a management-sponsored organisation, has thought fit to evolve a code of professional conduct that journalists may usefully adopt to regulate their relations with fellow journalists, The result is, as the BUJ report points out, a scramble for the favours of employers without regard to its consequences for fellow journalists involved or concern for, what may be termed, fair professional conduct At some stage journalists ought to ask themselves whether their responsibility towards fellow professionals is not at least as great as their individual responsibility to those who employ them. And if it is agreed that intra-profes- slon camaraderie is a worthwhile object to pursue, as in the case of other professions like medicine and law, then it should be possible to lay down norms of professional conduct which would make it very difficult, if not impossible, for a journalist to undercut another or to take unfair advantage of a fellow professional in the search for professional advancement. Surely, it should be possible for journalists to agree on what is fair professional conduct in a given situation. "It is a matter of shame,'' says the BUJ report, "that instead of mobilising their might to build a militant organisation which would bring them benefits, some working journalists have developed mean tend- encies to depend on the small mercies of their employers or the powers that be.'' Perhaps the first thing is to ensure that no one who is not a member of a professional journalistic organisation is allowed to hold journalistic appointments in any newspaper. This is in the interest not only of journalists but also of the owners of newspapers themselves. The next step should be to evolve an agreed code of professional conduct whose observance will be obligatory on all journalists. It would not be long then before some kind of a national register of journalists comes into being. Since AINEC by its very structure is not well placed to undertake this task, it should primarily be a matter for IFWJ to pursue. The Press Council, too, may be enlisted to help in the process or, indeed, to become the custodian of the code in question.

Banana Peel for Editors

Banana Peel for Editors Nireekshak SOME avoidable confusion seems to have been caused in the minds of editorial writers about the implications of the Supreme Court's judgment on bank nationalisation. Almost all these worthies jumped to the conclusion that the Court's injunction against 'hostile discrimination' left no alternative to Government but to nationalise all banks, Indian and foreign, or go back on nationalisation altogether. On the morrow of the judgment (February 11), Times of India wrote editorially that "the final consequence of the judgment will be to force the Government to nation- alise all the Indian and foreign banks, big and small". This refrain was more or less echoed by Indian Express as well as Free Press Journal, though the conclusions reached by them were somewhat contradictory.

Those Were the Days

Those Were the Days Nireekshak EVERYONE talks nostalgically of the clays before Independence when editors were generals in mufti leading brilliant campaigns in the patn'otie war for swaraj, and reporters, when they were not acting as espionage agents in the enemv camp, were recruiting agents and counsellors for the political High Command. When Independence was won it was clear that victory belonged to the Press as much as to the people and the political leaders.

End of Innocence

and put forth suggestions for reducing: the time-lags. Suggestions were also made for improving the usefulness of official data by better classification of the available figures.

The Wallflower

The Wallflower Nireekshak THERE is a new entrant in the world of the Indian Press. The newcomer is a somewhat strange and, for India at least, a unique animal; it is a wall news- paper. Wail newspapers are not entirely a Chinese invention, as newspaper readers might suppose from reports about the prominent role such newspapers are thought to have played in China's cultural revolution. Whoever it was who invented it first, wall newspapers have for long been a part of the academic scene in India's universities and colleges; I know one or two persons who, starting their early 'journalistic' career as reporters for these wall newspapers, have since graduated to become editors of prominent dailies.

Through other Eyes

Through other Eyes Nireekshak NEWS editors of Indian newspapers have probably a greater awareness of foreign news than news editors elsewhere. This is, of course, a very general statement and may not stand scrutiny in all situations and in all newspapers. There are days, as during the Congress party's plenary session in Bombay recently, when hardly any- foreign news finds its way into print in even the metropolitan newspapers. Yet, on the whole, it would be entirely true to say that Indian newspapers pay adequate

Cinderella s Sparkle

December 27, 1969 their East European allies, but probably feel incapable of neutralising the growing power of West Germany. While the communique issued at the conclusion of the Warsaw Pact summit does not actually authorise the member countries to normalise their relations with Bonn, it nevertheless suggests that, as a result of recent developments in the Federal Republic of Germany, the road to co-operation with Bonn is largely open.

Pages

Back to Top