The veteran journalist and former Reader’s Digest assistant editor V. Gangadhar, who taught journalism for over a decade in Bombay’s colleges, agrees with the press council chief Justice Markandey Katju “order” that journalists do need “some legal qualifications.”
He writes in The Hindu:
Some years ago, the journalism entrance test at a career development institute in Mumbai had this objective-type question: Kofi Annan is (a) a Nigerian footballer (b) lead singer of a Sierra Leone pop group (c) a Sri Lankan delicacy (d) Secretary-General of the United Nations.
The 100-odd candidates who appeared for the test were graduates with a sprinkling of post graduates. For nearly 25 of them, Kofi Annan was a Sri Lankan delicacy.
At a TV Bachelor of Mass Media (BMM) university examination, where students were asked to identify and comment on a recent war which had divided the United States of America, more than a dozen students, obviously from the same college, elaborated on the “Vitamin War.” Another TV BMM class was learning the basics of book reviews. The teacher was shocked when the 40 plus students admitted that none of them had ever read a book outside their prescribed course of studies.
*Also read: Paparazzi pic of Bollywood babe sans makeup
External reading: Yes, journos do need minimum qualifications
The intemperate reaction of journalists to Katju’s assessment arises from an inflated sense of self-evaluation. Journalists are part of the hoi polloi. The sooner they recognize this fact the better would be their identification with the interests of the hoi polloi.
Quite a few of them need lessons in basic English. Recently ToI used ‘brother-in-laws’ in a – headline. The paper instantly corrected it, thanks to a couple of alert readers and of course the internet. We often see expressions like ‘one of my friend’ and ‘co-brother’ bandied about.
See this expression in today’s Indian Express: ‘BrahMos missile is fully ready…’. Would it be ‘ready’ if it is ‘half ready’?
katju said some time ago: “90% indians are idiots.”
will a person trained for legal profession make such
an unintelligent statement?
and, do you expect a former judge of the country’s highest
court make such a thoughtless speech?
and if a person makes this kind of averrments, has
a right to say what he said about his countrymen?
Something interesting I came along –
Idiocy shares with idiom and idiosyncratic the root idios, which means private, separate, self-centered — selfish. “Idiotic” was in the Greek context a term of reproach. When a person’s behavior became idiotic — concerned myopically with private things and unmindful of common things — then the person was believed to be like a rudderless ship, without consequence save for the danger it posed to others.
An idiot is one whose self-centeredness undermines his or her citizen identity, causing it to wither or never to take root in the first place. Private gain is the goal, and the community had better not get in the way … Idiots do not take part in public life; they do not have a public life. In this sense, idiots are immature in the most fundamental way.
~ “Teaching Against Idiocy”, Parker, Walter C.