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A glimpse into journalism

Staff Correspondent

Over 50 students attend face-to-face with veterans in Mysore



LEARNING THE ROPES: Postgraduate students of journalism at an interaction in Mysore on Tuesday. — Photo: M.A. Sriram.

MYSORE: Ethics of sting operations, page 3 coverage, social responsibility of journalists and a variety of issues concerning the media came up for discussion during an interactive session between students of journalism and veteran presspersons in Mysore.

During the face-to-face organised by Mysore District Journalists Association (MDJA) on Tuesday, editors of three local dailies offered more than 50 students from the postgraduate department of journalism in the University of Mysore a glimpse into the world of practical journalism.

Tehelka's sting operation against alleged corruption in the political establishment a couple of years ago may be fading from public memory.

But the episode in which journalists played the role of arms dealers is seen as a "pioneering effort" in exposing corruption in high places even as a debate on the ethics of sting operations continues.

When a student raised the issue of ethics behind sting operations, the editor of Star of Mysore, K.B. Ganapathy, defended it claiming that such efforts will help expose rampant corruption in society, if not cleanse it.

Another student questioned the propriety of newspapers in devoting valuable space on page 3 for individual celebrities rather than focussing on development issues, particularly in rural areas. But Mr. Ganapathy felt there was nothing wrong for the media to glorify achievers who contribute to society.Citing the example of Infosys Chairman, N.R. Narayanamurthy, Mr. Ganapathy wondered how newspapers could be blamed if Mr. Narayanamurthy is glorified for building a successful company providing jobs to a large number of people.

Refusing to accept Mr. Ganapathy's defence of page 3, the student sought to know whether newspapers would provide similar attention to an achiever from the farming community.

When a student sought to know how newspapers could carry clarifications as prominently as the news items themselves, without affecting the credibility of the newspaper, the editor of Andolana, Rajashekar Koti, said the newspapers cannot afford to delay news till they are able to obtain clarifications.

"We have to carry the news and the clarifications as they come," he said. and rejected a suggestion that the newspapers would lose their credibility by carrying clarifications as prominently as news items.

Head of the Department of Journalism, Mysore University, N. Usha Rani, faculty members, K.J. Joseph, Niranjan Vanalli, Puttaswamy, MDJA President Amshi Prasanna Kumar and General Secretary Chinnaswamy Vaddagere, Editor-in-chief of Mysore Mail and Prajanudi Krishna Vattam, were present.

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