THE POST-TRUTH MEDIA’S SURVIVAL SUTRA: A Footsoldier’s Version
The book provides valuable information about the way journalism has evolved in India since Independence, the idealism and missionary zeal of the early pioneers and ‘foot-soldiers,’ the changing technology and mores of reportage, the joint resistance by owners and journalists to the government’s moves to tame the media, and the shift from the primacy of the editor to that of the owner, and eventually into the inexorable logic of the market paradigm of the news media… The thumbnail sketches of the editors, owners and journalists, and the insights into the pulls and pressures at work in newsrooms are truly invaluable.
– SASHI KUMAR, Chairman, Asian College of Journalism, and author
Other journalists have written memoirs chronicling change over the post-Independence decades, but they have not offeredas many wry observations on their own profession’s conduct and values, or that of their editors andproprietors, as Mr Raman has. “All successful editors should know the mind of the proprietors,” he writes.Mr Raman’s clear-eyed take on the evolution of Indian journalism cites the “universal permanent list of pariahs”for corporate-owned publications — “trade unions, Left parties, BSP, and rural issues, in that order”.And similarly, post-liberlisation “anti-reform remarks”.
-SEVANTI NINAN, media critic, author and founder editor of The Hoot
P. Raman’s memoirs is a wonderful history of Indian print journalism over the past six decades. I found it a fascinating read and his description of newspapers and magazines of the sixties and seventies will be valuable source material to scholars as well. I used to follow Raman’s stories in the different dailies he worked for and always found them well-informed and reliable. This book distils his varied experiences in the course of a long and noted career. They don’t make them like him anymore.
– JAIRAM RAMESH, author and former minister of Environment & Forests and Rural Development
About the Author:
An octogenarian, P. Raman brings with him the trials and tribulations of the print media spread over healf a century. Beginning as a sub-edutor, he worked with a dozen English dailies and weeklies, including Patriot, Link, The Indian Express, The Economic Times and Business Standard. He was the political editor of the last two. During the Emergency, he was shunted to Ahmedabad as a special correspondent.
He has also woeked as chief sub-edutor producing the editions and as deputi news editor. Lon stints at the news desk made him witness to the technological changeover from hand setting and cylinder printing era to Lino-rotary days to bromide pasting and finally computer page making.
As the main political correspondent at the Express, his generation knew him as an adversarial reporter specializing in anti-establishment stories. First ET and then BS carried his weeklyt column Realpolitik, which he syndicated after retirement. As a middle-rung worker, this footsoldier of journalism was privy to the bitter cold war for the control of the print media during the turbulent 60s and 70s and the final triumph by the owners after liberalization. He had intimate knowledge of the frequent hiring and firing of the celebrity editors and their harrassment and humiliation – beginning with Frank Moraes, S. Mulgaonkar, Edathatta Narayan, B.G. Verghese, S. Nihal SIngh, V.K. Narsimhan, Nandan Kagal, T.J.S. George, T.N. Ninan and Arun Shourie.
He was a member of the Press Council for two terms. He had an obsession with perserving his reporter’s note pad and jottings on spiral books for his weekly column. When in doubt, he still thumbs through those piles for fact verification. This is the main source of fact for ‘A Footsoldier’s Version’.
Book review –
https://indianexpress.com/article/lifestyle/books/dont-stop-press-5229497/ – INDIAN EXPRESS
http://www.thehoot.org/research/books/the-press-council-then-and-now-10675 – THE HOOT