Total Pageviews

Saturday, December 4, 2010

How journalists run their backyard...

The other day, I was at the Press Club around 9 pm, and the huge plasma TV (naturally, donated by some company) in the main wood-panelled room was showing Vir Sangvi defending himself over the Radia tapes. There was, as usual a huge din created by drunken journos having arguments, so it was difficult to hear what was being said. Some guys went up to the TV, and stuck their ears right over the speaker, trying to listen in. As usual, the place was overcrowded, the service was bad, and the food was terrible. Lots of people who could not find space in the main room were sitting outside on the hard clay ground (in Lutyens Delhi, the Press Club is not able find a way of growing a lawn yet), shivering at dirty red plastic tables, with dirty red or white plastic chairs to match.

There was no menu card, either for the drinks or the food, and one had to cross-examine the waiter to find out what was on offer (ofcourse, even if you somehow found what was on offer, finding out how much it cost was next to impossible)

The press club has, finally, after twenty years of begging, got a piece of land for building their building (they are currently in rented premises), and now we are trying to find somebody who will fund the actual construction .

Some politicians have been donating one lakh or fifty thousand, relishing the idea of throwing pennies to the beggars...at this rate, it could take a century  to build anything.

Many of waiters are still "temporary" after decades of working there: they must be getting paid peanuts, because their clothes are dirty, and the Club cannot find a way of funding livery for them.

I have been a member of the Press Club for over a decade now, and the way it is run is a shame.

It is even more amazing because journalists keep lecturing everybody on how the country should be run, and this is how their backyard is being kept.

Just a few streets away is the Civil Services Officers Club, and it is much better run: the food is better, the cutlery is decent, there is something for members' families, there are some sports facilities...

That's why, "Radiagate" as it has come to be christened, did not surprise me much: below the veneer is the seamy underside: underpaid, overworked, without job security, with venal proprietors and even more venal editors, the average journalist today is a pitiful creature....obviously, it does not pay to expose truth, but it pays to twist it, hide it, and obscure it, like Nira Radia did, and a hundred "PR" practitioners in Delhi are still doing....

3 comments:

  1. Well written on behalf of those who could not, did not, do not wish to become Nira Radia and her likes!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Your observation "it is even more amazing because journalists keep lecturing everybody on how the country should be run, and this is how their backyard is being kept" is absolutely spot on. Manish Desai, Mumbai

    ReplyDelete
  3. it is even more amazing because journalists keep lecturing everybody on how the country should be run, and this is how their backyard is being kept
    May be those who lecture as to how the country should be run do not frequent Press Club and vice versa!

    ReplyDelete