March 19, 2008, IBNLive
Disclaimer: The following are some real life experiences peppered with some imagination.
Every one of my colleagues has faced this question sometime or the other. Its asked with awe, scorn, curiousity, interest and many other emotions. Here are a few common recurring scenarios when the question so to say is popped…
Scenario 1: Journalist goes to get vox pops on yet another topic
Interviewee says jovially ‘Oh you are a journalist?’ ‘Yeah sure, I will tell you what is my opinion on Shahrukh’s new look in Krazzy 4. Just tell me what time the telecast is.”
That was an easy one, but wait until the journalist makes a mistake and asks the just retired uncle who has a general look of ‘I-have-seen-it-all-and-its-no-good.’
“What? Why don’t you cover better things? What about that dirty drain in my lane, which is causing such a lot of trouble? Why don’t you do a story on the lineman in our area who takes bribes for fitting electric connections? What about all those slum dwellers who …………… …. You think you are a journalist?” (Well, last I heard cleaning up society drains came under civic activism, so much for the definition of journalism!)
Scenario 2: Journalist attends a party
Girl who is a contemporary of the journalist, “Oooh so you are a journalist? Must be such a challenging job. So much travel, so much work isn’t it tiring? Tell me, what is the latest news about Shahid Kapur? Have you met him?”
“No, I don’t cover entertainment.”
“But still, you must be knowing. Oh mummy, look who I found. This girl is a journalist, she comes on TeeVee. (a huge gushing sound)”
Mom makes some polite conversation and gives you the ‘my-daughter-shouldn’t-mix-with-you-independent-types’ once over and drags the daughter away. She glances back at you and thanks her stars that her son is only interested in homely girls.
Scenario 3: Journalist is at the family function of a hitherto not-so-friendly relative
Well, we have all attended functions at relatives’ who were a big pain in the you-know-what. Meet them after landing a job as a TV journalist and…
“Arre why are you standing there all alone? Come, come let me introduce you to my friends. Hey Raghu, remember the cousin I was telling you about? The one who comes on TV? She is the one. Very talented blah blah blah.”
And the friends go, “So, you are journalist?” all over again.
Scenario 4: Journalist meets college students
(Excitedly) “What you are a journalist? Ma’am I want to come on TV too. Will you tell me which college is the best? And also do I look OK for TV? Actually my parents want me to do MBA. But there is no fun in MBA. TV is so much interesting isn’t it?”
“Yeah, do you by any chance know who is Sunita Williams?”
“Who is she? No, wait. Is she some Hollywood star of Indian origin? Williams…(some head scratching) Williams… the name sounds familiar. Is she some sports star?”
“Well, so you want to be a journalist, don’t you?”