Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Me in Hanya, Crete


Algis Kemezys said...

Algis Kemezys started out in the visual arts as a fine art photographer and a photojournalist. He photographed all over the world. His work was published and exhibited internationally (New York; Chicago; Canada; Greece; India). While photographing the island of Crete (Greece) for a book cover in 2002, he became interested in making a documentary on the island. Drawing on his previous experience in working with video (Ryerson University; as well as an ongoing sideline in video-art pieces) he proceeded to shoot (digital), edit (Final Cut Pro), and finish two successive documentary films, the first of which (Faces of Myth) played in several festivals to good notices, and the second of which (Mimetoliths) was finished in March 2006.

Vijendra Rao said...

I have had the privilege of interviewing Algis in January 1993, after a chance encounter with him aboard a Bangalore-Mysore bus that broke down mid way in December, the previous year.
He was on a visit to India for his "Holy Cow" project. I was amazed to see the special effects he had created with his ingenuity for his portfolio "The Day After".
Vijendra Rao
Dear Captain,
Your comments elsewhere that bloggers on this side of the Chamundi Hills are tardy did not bring me out of my shell. (It was not targetted at any individual, I know, but I felt indicted). However, this blog on "Air India and NDTV" has, mainly because it has given me a scarcely-needed pretext to go hammer and tongs at the media. You have candidly spoken about your fellow-pilots. So have I against my fraternity, but never so riskily as I have set out to do now. Thanks for providing the trigger.
"Exclusive" is what any newspaper/TV or radio channel/portal carries by way of a news story with their competitors not having gained access to it. So, the NDTV report under scrutiny was their exclusive for today.
Exclusive stories are normally the result of a reporter/correspondent gaining access to privileged information. It is desired that exclusive reports are necessarily explosive, though the speeds that news delivery systems have acquired due to technology have cut down the span of exclusivity such reports enjoy. This is just for starters; I will delve into it in due course.
It is the exclusives that earn focus and fame to a journalist. In the print (and new media, in certain cases), the journalist is known by his byline, given to him only for special reports. In my 20 years of journalism, I have not seen one journalist who does not hanker for credit. It is somewhat acceptable as it is on the number of his bylines that his worth is decided in the media market, where job-hopping is none too infrequent. What is however regrettable is when journalists go out of their way to get credit for their stories. What Clement Attlee famously remarked - once a person gets used to seeing his name in print he will go any length to see his name in print again and again -fits journalists like a glove. There is a systematic attempt to make not only the reader into believing that what he has written is out of the ordinary, but also his own editorial department. It is a craft which every reporter masters within no time of joining the profession. In fact, there is not much regard for the reader - as he does not decide whether the journalist must get credit for his story; it is the desk that decides whether a story is exclusive. The reporter does every conceivable thing to mislead the desk into believing that he has put in special effort to get his report. Time and again, one will find that even press releases that land in newspaper offices as a matter of routine are sought to be given the colour of a special report by byline-hungry reporters.
It is this tendency amongst journalists that Capt. Murthy has highlighted. Only experts on each subject - like Capt. Murthy, for instance, in the present instant -would know how hilarious are most of the reports that the newspapers and channels routinely claim as exclusive to their own readers/viewers.
Incidentally, scarcely hours after President George's departure after his recent visit to India, Barkha Dutt was waxing eloquent on her exclusive on how India actually clinched the nuclear issue with the US. Bored with the trumpeter, I switched channels to find that CNN-IBN had laid its hands on the same issue, too. It did not appear to be NDTV's exclusive, but there was no stopping the euphoria of Barkha. (To get the correct spelling for her name, I google-searched, only to find that at the very top of the Google's opening page against the search is Barkha Dutt. Media critic Amita Malik says, in her column in PIONEER: ' ...Indeed, there are two professional differences in the media coverage of the attack on the temple which stood out. First in the Hindi heartland it was the Hindi channels which scored. With Rajdeep Sardesai and very long winded Barkha Dutt pontificating from Delhi, it is the Hindi channels with experienced reporters on the spot who were the first with reports. And they spoke the elegant Hindi or Urdu of the region, which is very different from AIR's contrived sanrkritised one which no one speaks or understands. In fact, so far removed from reality was even an experienced reporter like Barka Dutt, who did not seem aware of speaking to him in Punjabi Hindi on an english channel. Dutt, it seemed was not aware that the mahant of the temple, Dr Mishra, was a famous professor of science, who had won the Magsaysay award because of his efforts to save the Ganga. He had also figured on the cover page of the TIME magazine and the President Bill Clinton had been gretly immpressed by his efforts as an environmentalists had specially invited to Delhi for a discussion.

The moral of the story is that the political pundits of the media in Delhi should realise that those on the spot are far more competent to cover such events and should be given the time the pundits waste in Delhi....
'The women anchors of the relatively new CNN IBN channel. who have some vestiges of professionalism when they have come from NDTV or CNN, the rest are mostly amateurs whom the channel is desperately trying to build up as stars. Perhaps the only real professional amongst the m who makes her points without histrionics, waving of arms and sudden bursts of speed, is Suhashini Haidar....'

Vijendra Rao

I may also be reached on www.iouindia.com