Story of a lost journalist

November 25, 2012

Flip sides of journo life

Filed under: Journalism — Cris @ 14:36

I don’t write here much about the profession, though I have named the blog ‘Lost Journalist’. Think I will narrate a couple of scenarios that says the unpleasant side of being a journo.

1. Annoying people: this is not intentional, but it seems to happen sometimes. Especially when you need to get comments for, well, ‘unpopular’ events. Say, like calling a music director accused of plagiarism to ask his comments… or any individual to take his stand on a controversial piece of news. The incident I am going to narrate however has none of these elements. It was a house to be featured in the paper and when I called the owner for his comments I used his first name. I soon get a message: “Would like a little more respect when u call. We are not on first name terms. Always add a Mr. when u refer me. Call now.”

I wasn’t sure how to respond to this. When I first joined as a newspaper reporter, I took to calling everyone ‘Sir’ or ’Madam’ cause you never know what they expect. But somehow, with time, this habit faded away. Everyone was calling everyone else by first names. When it was someone senior, we still used Sir. This particular owner, being a young corporate person, I didn’t think much before the controversial first name addressing. Moreover, he was introduced by a friend, as a friend. But I don’t wish to justify. People are different, they have different ideas about respect. And I totally accept his argument. I replied ‘Sorry Mr. (name), seems the corporate culture has spoiled us all. Will spare you from commenting on the house. Thanks.”
Another time was when I called a theatre owner to ask about movie changes. He seemed quite annoyed. “Who gave you my number! Call the theatre!” He kept saying this a few times to make sure I got the message. I did. Whew! Who knew a theatre owner could be so sensitive about naming the movies in his theatre!

2. Wrong news: oh this happens a lot. Knowingly or unknowingly. Some take it well with their ‘it happens’ and ‘we all do it’s. Some of course become very upset and that’s when a journo comes across that most feared three letter word: Sue. I have lost friends from giving wrong last names, for using photos they didn’t approve of, and won stranger enemies swearing to sue me. I took to offering the idea myself after a few bad episodes. Once a photographer was upset we didn’t give him credit after using his photo and I suggested suing me. Nailbitingly I calculated the thousands he’d ask for. Fortunately they all had a heart somewhere and let me off the hook. Well, so far. Any day now I expect to see the insides of the gates from where we buy our chapathis and curries for lunch: the Poojappura central prison. Well if we get the same lunch inside, maybe it won’t be so bad.



  1. “The only man who behaves sensibly is my tailor; he takes my measurements anew every time he sees me, while all the rest go on with their old measurements and expect me to fit them” George Bernard Shaw. May be there lies the problem.. we all measure the people in the wrong way and expects them to fit in it.. 🙂
    Nice post.. keep writing..

    Comment by Javed Miandad — November 25, 2012 @ 15:00 | Reply

  2. Thats good. 🙂
    What did he do, that photographer? (just curious!)
    …And the poojapura food, is it so tasty?( I haven`t tried it yet)

    Comment by iamworthatry — November 25, 2012 @ 17:54 | Reply

  3. Cris mol is a rockstar! Loved it 🙂

    Comment by Dips — December 14, 2012 @ 12:34 | Reply

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