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Dangerous trend of Neo-journalism

Since the year 1989, Guwahati, the gateway to the north eastern India, has seen a mushroom growth in the Fourth Estate with entry of a number of newspapers and periodicals in various languages. Earlier, a few English and Assamese newspapers were published in Guwahati.  For getting the major and detailed news, the people had to wait till evening for newspapers from Delhi and Kolkata. No doubt the haphazard growth in the print media gave an opportunity to a large number of unemployed educated youths to join this challenging profession of prestige. With the information technology witnessing development at fast pace, the media houses failed to get the competent and trained workforce to cope with the increasing demands of this expanding and fast changing sector.  The vacuum created by the situation gave birth to the Neo-journalism. This is just a stopgap arrangement for the unemployed educated youths.

The media houses are run by influential and wealthy people, who have taken the Fourth Estate as key to develop their business. Naturally, they cannot leave a single penny to go without profit. Despite a number of vacancies in their units, these houses do not get suitable staff to fill up the vacancies because of their own shortfall. The reason, they do not like to spare necessary funds for the livelihood of the ‘so-called’ media persons. Media houses take advantage of unemployment especially among the educated youths and engage inexperienced people to do those jobs which require expertise, technical and language skill. But the moot point is that such people lack the primary knowledge of professional ethics. Nor do they have even the basic experience of interacting or communicating with people, which is a vital point to be developed in public relations - an inseparable part of journalism. To cut a long story short, they demonstrate a poor exhibition of their ethical behavior. What of course, they are unnaturally very sure of is that their job is quite ‘glamorous’. The ‘neo-journalism’ is dangerous to the profession in all respects.

As of today one comes across instances of many conflicts between the media and other sections of society. One of the reasons for such irritants is the violation of the basic norms of journalism. It hardly needs reiteration that a pen pusher or a journalist should remain controlled in most trying of circumstances. This to say the least is in the interest of gaining confidence of the people in the profession.

With regards to reporting the less said is the better. There are many cases of reports leading to controversies. At the other extreme are the readers, who remain a confused lot in so far as the authenticity of the news is concerned. This happens mostly because of the one-sided reports that appear in the print media and most of which are ‘syndicated’ (filed by the people who may not have the requisite journalistic background).

The plight of the journalists in particular and the Fourth Estate in general can also be traced to other ancillary reasons. A significant aspect of the modern-day journalism is the ‘hire and fire’ policy that is really very dear to most of the managements of the media houses. For minor mistakes, employees lose their jobs and that too even without a show cause notice. The poor innocent scribe fails to get his legal dues as well, in the long run. In all such cases, the media houses have the upper hand. The employees find themselves on the receiving end. In short, this noble profession continues to be badly unsecured despite all the charms.

At present a large number of mass communication institutes are doing field work and preparing a number of journalists year after year. But they have not been able to make much progress in achieving their aims. Most of such institutions abominably fail to even gauze the merits of their students. And what more one can expect what with the basic aim of most of these media training institutes providing the elementary education to their students on the Fourth Estate. These so-called institutes of media will never be able to supply the industry the trained and experienced manpower, if they cannot mould the mind of the students and subsequently create a true and ethical interest on the sector among their students. The motto should be to create the ‘right classes of the journalists. (End)


Author info

Daya Nath Singh's picture

Journalist; Guwahati Press Club office Secretary


shahid's picture

Excellent observations sir. Journalism in Assam is reduced to blackmailing.

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BBC Celebrity Chef inaugurated Bihu Bhoj in London‏‏

28 Apr 2012 - 6:06pm | Rini Kakati

On the occasion of Assamese New Year and Rongali Bihu on Saturday, 14 April, 2012 - a traditional Bihu Bhoj was organised by Assamese Community at Barham Park Lounge, Wembley, initiated by Rini Kakati, NRI Co-ordinator for UK. This idea came from Gordon Ramsey when he was enquiring about any Assamese restaurant in London after returning from Assam 3 years back.

Bihu is the National festival of Assam. Irrespective of caste, creed and religion the people of Assam celebrate Bihu with much pomp and gaiety. To establish the existence of cultural roots and heritage, every community in Britain put their combined efforts in an organised manner. Assamese Community is no exception.

The dignitaries present were Jitendra Kumar, First Secretary, Indian High Commission, Rita Payne (President, Commonwealth Journalists Association UK, Rolf Kilius, Curator for Horniman Museum, Mayor of Brent, Navin Shah AM (London Assembly Member), Helga Gladbaumincluding Councillors from different boroughs - Labour, Liberal Democrat and Conservative,Justin Wintle, author of the book "The Perfect Hostage", Geoff Payne, Consultant in Urban Development and Planning, Alain Durand-Lasserve and his wife Maylis from France andKrishnan Ralleigh, journalist and Dilip Deka from USA. Cyrus, the well-known BBC Celebrity Chef was invited as a guest of honour.

Cuisine of a land is a specific set of cooking tradition and practices. Assamese cuisine is influenced by the ingredients that are easily available and the climate of the area. Mother nature has given Assam abundant greenery with so many rare endemic plants and herbs. The people of this land of blue hills and red rivers take full advantage of Mother nature's bounty. Xaak (Green) forms an indispensable part of Assamese cooking including dried bamboo shoot, dried cocum (thekera), rice powder, powered lentils (mahor guri), Kharoli, Khahodi and chilly pickle.

In the West people recognise India only as Tandoori chicken,Vindaloo, Chapati, Dosa, Idli and Sambar. But the mouth watering Assamese dishes at Barham Park changed the attraction of food lovers of Indians and Europeans to a complete taste. Now Assamese cuisine is established as one of the delicious food - Khar, Tenga, Kharoli, Bamboo shoot, Mahor Bora,Khahodi, Pitika, Hah - Aru Mah, Dry-Fish, Patotdiya Fish, Oou - Tenga, Tel Pitha, Payash, Chira, Doi, Gur jalpan, Tamul, Paan and masala offered in Sarai.

Credit goes to Jury Gogoi and her husband Dr. Nirjan Gogoi, a Consultant Urologist at Mid Yorkshire NHS Trust who is instrumental and came all the way from Yorkshire to cook various dishes for this event. Jury Gogoi is a Counsellor for Ethnic Minorities. She is the one and only expert for our Assamese delicacies. Jill Baruah assisted her to cook so many dishes laid on the table presented kahor bati, ghoti and thal in a traditional Assamese Way. Everybody fell home sick missing our mother and Aita's cooking back home.

Rini Kakati introduced the invited dignitaries, community leaders and welcome everybody for joining the Assamese New Year Celebration. Geetopala Shah opened the meeting with a Sanskrit prayer. Young Assamese women wearing mekhla chadar felictated the honourable guests with phulam gamosha.

Rita Payne, chaired the meeting and talked about Assam and Bihu. Jitendra Kumar, representing Indian High Commission said " Assamese Community in UK is full of professionals Doctor, Engineer, Teacher, IT Consultant for which India should be proud of ". He is so pleased to attend this function and thanked the organisers which reminds him of childhood days, enjoying Bihu with his family in Assam. Each speaker spoke highly about our community and hospitality. The Mayor of Brent was so pleased and offered any assistance should we organise same event in future.

BBC Celebrity Chef, Cyrus opened the Assamese kitchen by sharing food with the host community. Cyrus has cooked for the Prime Ministers, Presidents, Royal Families and regularly appears on BBC Food and Drink, BBC UK Today, Saturday Kitchen, Channel 4’s The Big Breakfast, BBC World Service, Channel 4’s Light Lunch, BBC’s Money Matters and also radio stations such as BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 5 Live and Talk Radio.

Cyrus noticed when the the practice of Bhuna, the gentle frying of spices is so common in Indian cooking, is absent from the Assamese table, where one can find different recipes for vegetables, curries, chicken and duck is not so typically hot lined in the same row. He tasted everything and so pleased to announce that he is going to introduce Assamese recipe at his chain of restaurants in London. This is a great news and pride for the Assamese Community.

The mood of spring brought to a grand finale, with Bihu dance to the tune of seductive bihu songs woven around the themes of love and passion led by Bakhar & Jill, Jafferna, Abhijit, Sumita, Arindam & Anandita, Rosy, Sahana, Lipi, Anzita, Kavita Vikram, Ashfaque, Jiban Rintu, Malabika & Siddhartha. It is an experience out of this world.