Friday, July 18, 2008

On Malayalam Varika and Complaints about Reportage of Sex Scandal

People were asking me about some comments about me in a report in Samakalika Malayalam Varika, this week, in connection with some reports while I was serving in Kairali TV. I responded to some posts at the FEC discussion group and here it is:

IT IS possible that our newspapers and magazines can be very very funny. And this is not a monopoly of Malayala Manorama or Deshabhimani either. It cuts across political and ideological spectrum. It seems to be a unique Malayali trait, I think. (By the way I don't call it Malayali hypocrisy because I could be dubbed a racist ...)

People complain the media-persons for this. But I see that it can take even journalists as their victim as Gouridasan had found himself in, a few months ago.

This week I saw the story in Samakalika Malayalam Varika, edited by my former colleague S Jayachandran Nair. The cover story about the sex scandal case and India Vision's alleged volte face on it, accuses me of hushing up the story while I was in Kairali TV some seven years back and demands a public explanation for what I did or failed to do.

I am not going to explain what decisions I took and what stories I dumped in may career as editorial director in that channel. But the point is, when such an allegation is being raised, against a person who is easily available on phone, email or personally, why the weekly did not think it necessary just to ask?

This is the way most of our stories are broken. They are fed by some interested parties and the reporters and editors swallow them without even a glass of water.(and cause social indigestion and a peculiar dismal smell too...)

Just one small point: The report says Mr. Prabha Varma was associate director of Kairali TV during this period; that is, on the eve of the 2001 Assembly election. He was not. He was media secretary to Chief Minister E K Nayanar. He came to Kairali TV after the elections, when the LDF Government was defeated.

Well, even in 'investigative' reports of this sort, it would be nice to see that the basic facts are correct.


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