Outlook magazine editor Vinod Mehta has this item in his Delhi Diary this week:
“David Lean when he was casting for Lawrence of Arabia approached the great theatre actor Albert Finney and offered him the role of Lawrence (which eventually went to Peter O’Toole). The actor declined. “Don’t you know I’ll make you a star,” said Lean. “That’s what I am afraid of,” replied Finney. Surveying the Ramnath Goenka awards for excellence in journalism, I notice TV journalists (all fine professionals) have swept the honours, which just goes to show that India’s love affair with TV continues. Print journalists, on the other hand, get very little or no recognition, even though most of the serious and solid work in journalism is done in print publications. I am not unmindful of the draw of TV as a “glamour medium”—a charm to which our netas are irresistibly attracted.
“I may be biased, but I’ve always regarded current affairs television as a fundamentally unserious brand of our trade, where style wins over substance and which finally is a performer’s art. It is not what you say but how you say it which counts. TV journalism occasionally produces good work, but where would TV channels be without newspapers and magazines? Ninety per cent of the stories on television are picked up from print.
“I have made a few foolish decisions in my professional career, but thank god I’ve stuck to being a print hack.”