THE JOURNEY OF A JOURNALIST: A REVIEW BY DR SUMAN KUMAR KASTURI
Authored by: Kambhalapalli Krishna; Bhoomi Book Trust Hyderabad; 2019; ISBN: Not Available; 160 pages; Price: ₹100/-
“I can’t think in terms of journalism without thinking in terms of political ends. Unless there’s been a reaction, there’s been no journalism. It’s cause and effect.“-Hunter S. Thompson
It is precise that there is no journalism without thinking in terms of political ends. This inkling holds good both in terms of actual political ends concerning the political goals as well as the inside politics of a media organisation. In fact, journalism and human communication cannot be seen as two different entities. Both of them are unified if we consider that journalism enlightens the very nature of human communication and the arrays that come to light in social connection.
This book titled— The Journey of a Journalist — is authored by Kambhalapalli Krishna, who has been associated with both print and electronic media (Telugu) for twenty-five years. I read this book with great interest as it is on a topical and relevant subject, and one close to my own interest in exploration. This book covers a vast canvas on the life journey of the author from the time when he has accidentally become a journalist. This book, though not formally chapterised, is divided into fifteen chapters (if can be called so). All these fifteen chapters are thematically and chronologically entwined.
As rightly mentioned by the author in the first chapter concerning his twenty-five years of journey as a journalist, he has discussed the contemporary political issues throughout this book — mostly pertaining to the erstwhile Andhra Pradesh. Even though this book cannot be categorised as a research book, it adheres certain features that any research book owns. This book could be categorised as a non-fictional and non-academic book.
The book begins with the revelation of the family background of the author, who is the youngest among all his seven siblings. Excitingly, the author has decided his own date of birth as no one has noted down the same. In the virtual first chapter, the author gives us the entire background of his childhood and schooling. Then, in the same chapter, he reveals the fact of him getting a job in Praja Shakti, a contemporary Telugu Newspaper, where his elder brother Shekhar was then working as a cartoonist. After reading this chapter, the reader gets a feeling that the author is not a journalist rather an accidental journalist! My justification for this comment is — firstly, the author never aspired to become a journalist and secondly, he does not even formally acquire the qualification.
In the succeeding chapter, the author makes a revelation about his entry into Andhra Jyothi on October 16, 2002, for a meagre salary offer of ₹4,500/- per month. The interesting part of this chapter is how his involvement in an FM Radio Program ‘JAPA-4’ has led him to start a column titled Lolli in Andhra Jyothi newspaper. The author makes it an annotation in the following chapter that the articles published under the column Lolli were published as a book with the same name.
Further reading in this book discloses the fact that the author commenced his career in TV9 as a Reporter after concluding the journey as a print media journalist. As understood by me, July 28, 2005, is an important day in the career of the author. He left for Mumbai for the coverage of the Mumbai Floods. This event has hauled out the talent in him to ultimately pave a way for him to get a chance to leave for New Delhi, for political coverage from the national capital. The author captivatingly narrated the story of his first flight journey and the birth of a baby in J&K on the earthquake day i.e. on October 08, 2005. This part certainly reveals the tenacity of the author in the capacity of a journalist to reach a far-flung area in J&K.
All the way through the book, the author has made a disclosure of his life journey while discussing the coverage of contemporary political issues. In the ensuing chapters, the author has talked about his career in other popular Telugu News Channels such as NTV, Zee 24 Ghantalu, V6, TV5, Sneha TV, TNN, and HMTV. While working with V6, the author was inspired by Amir Khan’s popular television program Satyamev Jayate, the first episode of which was telecasted on May 06, 2012. This led him to think of directing an analogous program which ultimately took its shape by the name Tamasoma Jyotirgamaya. The narration of his struggle to direct the series makes the readers stick to this book.
This book fascinatingly presents the author’s perspectives and analysis in examining the political environment during the second phase of Telangana Movement. Without a doubt, this book set alight conversation about the most important developments that took place in the last two decades in the political arena of India. Significantly, this book, though not directly, emphasises the importance of the ethics of journalism — an extermination feature of present-day media.
This volume categorically discusses most of the contemporary happenings. Nonetheless, though I understand that it is always very easy to critique books for what they leave out, I personally felt, in this case, the author has forced himself to maintain the neutrality without presenting his actual opinion about certain political matters that are referred in this book.
Mass Media and Society mutually influence each other and are reciprocally interwoven. The author, who is a journalist by profession, has definitely achieved the objectives he had set when he was writing this book in the first place. Overall, the purpose of the author in writing this volume is achieved — to provide general readers, established media personnel, media educators and beginning students unfamiliar with the state of a journalist to provide a taste of the actual life of a journalist.
This book will definitely appeal to media aspirants and faculty members who want a thorough overview of not only the field but also sample research stemming from its various component parts. To this end, this excellent publication, by all means, serves as a good read to not only the people associated with the media but also the people of general interest.
In concluding words… the idea behind offering an English Review for a Telugu Book is to endorse the suggestion that this book has the budding prospect to be translated into English or any other language for the benefit of many!
-Dr. Suman Kumar Kasturi