Journalists getting fired as much news as hookers getting hired

Journalists getting fired is as much news as hookers getting hired. That is in the nature of the two professions. So I am amused every time an editor getting the boot is seen is an event worthy of headlines.

In the Indian context, it was Siddharth Varadarajan whose ouster last month as the editor-in-chief of The Hindu amid renewed jostling within the family owning the newspaper that was in the headlines. Now The New York Times’s India Blog finds it significant enough to interview Hartosh Singh Bal, who was apparently fired as the political editor of the Open magazine. Like I said, journalists getting fired is as much news as hookers getting hired. That is in the nature of the two professions.

Open magazine probably has a circulation of 200,000, a number I am extrapolating from the reporting during its launch that it started with a print run of 50,000 in 2009. It is not my case that 50,000 could not have become five million or even half a million in the last four years but one would have heard about a growth like that in the print media.

The point is it is not a journal with a spectacularly high circulation. It sure has made some impact within the power circles of New Delhi because of its aggressive reporting but it is by no means a journal, the fluctuating fortunes of whose journalists should become worthy of personal interviews. Like I said, journalists getting fired is as much news as hookers getting hired. That is in the nature of the two professions.

The underlying presumption of the interview, which is not explicitly mentioned, seems to be that the reporting by Open in general and Bal in particular had risen to a level of adverse impact where it had begun to make politicians in both the ruling Congress Party and the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party uncomfortable. Journalists, particularly in the print media, substitute the lack of decent financial compensation with the delusion that what they write actually shakes up status quos everywhere.

Barry asks Bal if he sees any parallels between his sacking and that of Varadarajan. Well, other than the fact that both are men with beards, I don’t think so. I am being facetious here because I cannot think of treating routine ousters of inconvenient journalists any other way. Like I said, journalists getting fired is as much news as hookers getting hired. That is in the nature of the two professions.

P.S.: Excuse the rather snarky post but like I said….

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About chutiumsulfate

South Asians can infer from my name what I am. View all posts by chutiumsulfate

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