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Reading Between The Lines

The Guindy Times conducted a Guest Lecture on 30th Jan, 2016 which emphasized on the significance of media skills at the Ada Lovelace Auditorium. The session started at 5.00 p.m. to a packed hall, with the first speaker Ms. Subhashini Dinesh, former Chief Sub Editor at The Hindu Business Line, and author of My Iron Wings. She spoke of the challenges faced by print media and how it copes with the more advanced digital media.

       First, print media has to wait for a minimum of 24-hour period to release its next edition, while news is updated online by the minute. The second challenge is the restriction in the number of words - every newspaper and magazine needs to creatively present content to keep the readers engaged by the limited space.

          Listing curiosity, accuracy and objectivity as three qualities that every journalist must possess, she elaborated on each of them:
●Curiosity - The Who, What, When, Where and How of the topic covered must be answered.
●Accuracy - All facts need to be verified.
●Objectivity - A good journalist is ought to be unbiased in reporting events.

     She also spoke on how the current trend for newspapers is to not restrict themselves to merely collecting all facts about an incident, but to getting opinions on it from every quarter. After her speech she calmly answered the questions of the avid 1st years. Her speech was so gripping and opened a new perspective about journalism to the audience.

     The second speaker was Poorani Balendra, a CEG alumnus, now pursuing her studies at the Asian College of Journalism. She gave substantial points on how to grow and carry oneself as a reputable journalist. She complemented her speech with a neatly-organised power point presentation and kept her speech short and sweet. She spoke on the minute details that can be added to an article to bring it to life by making observations with all five senses. An article must be free from factual, grammatical errors with perfect punctuation marks. Having translated two books from English to Tamil, she stressed the importance of reading in one’s mother tongue, as more views and ideas can be expressed when people are comfortable with the language. She signed off with a quote by Robin Reisig: You are what you read.

In a nutshell the evening was a very well-spent one.

Photography: Shashank Neralla

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