As I walk down the busy streets of Kalbadevi, a visual of people with newspapers in their hand drives me into a world of happiness. Yesterday, these would have been only a crowd of unknown faces. But today, these are people who would have probably glanced through my story, only to learn something they weren’t aware of before.
This is my experience as a reporter / journalist / common man / intern / media trainee.
Explaining an issue is one aspect and witnessing it is that part which probes one deeper into the world of Journalism. With field observation and first hand data, a person can understand the problem better and this is what I was made to do from day 0.
Every single day you have breakfast in different suburbs of Mumbai, minus the specified lunchtime designed by this world and add a peaceful dinner after you file the story. This constitutes the biggest high I have ever experienced in my life. First by-line gives you a sense of your contribution, however reporting the issues of people makes you realize that we are here to report the truth and after a certain point of time, by-lines don’t really matter.
One day I cover crime, next day science and technology. The other day I covered the verdict of Keenan Reuben murder case and after that the MHADA mill lottery. There was a day when I entered an auditorium and found the Chief Minister of Maharashtra along with several other politicians and then there was another where I couldn’t even locate the place. I knew that I had embarked upon a difficult journey as a cub reporter, but I also realized the bulk knowledge that I would garner, would change my perspective about life completely.
After an exhaustive day of compiling data and getting quotes from people, it is riding on the fast local to Church Gate that inspires me to file my story. Late in the evening, I hear only the audio produced by powerful strokes of keys. Everyone is busy filing their story, few people are talking to officials, editor is asking you to submit your story at the earliest and you are surrounded by chaos. But, for some reason you derive pleasure from this chaos because even in such a situation other journalists won’t deny you of any help.
There are unforgettable lessons and experiences that I have gathered within a few weeks into my journey. Set aside my fascination for hard news, writing features, in a sense showed me the everyday struggles of people. Through edit meets, I realized the importance of observation and always questioning the answers, which is nothing, but challenging the status quo. And also that a few people respect you, many mortals hate you, few inspire you and then your report creates an impact. This is a phase, which can be experienced only as a journalist. The best day was when an official visited the place within weeks after my story was published.
With inspirational posters and cartoons of Unni all over the office, the working atmosphere inspires one to follow Journalism of Courage.