Kozhikode: New age imperialism comes garbed in the form of western media hegemony said Saeed Naqvi, veteran journalist and commentator. The developing world, which is forced to consume news delivered from the western perspective, should deploy resources to report first hand on events and happenings around the world.
We should shy away from depending on news syndicates and second and third party coverage, which have their own economic and geo-political agendas. He was addressing a mixed group of nearly 100 XIth standard students of Silver Hills Public School, under the aegis of Chavara Cultural Centre.
He recalled that when he started out in journalism, it took years of covering various beats before a journalist got a by-line. He lamented the lack of integrity in modern journalism, unlike in the past when reporters used to profess an ‘elegant indifference to nodal positions of power’.
In abject contrast, journalists now tend to be swayed by other considerations since “he who pays the piper calls the tune.” Throughout his long career, he said, he had strived to build a media system that would be impervious to vested interests, though not with much success.
The commentator, who had interviewed Nelson Mandela and Fidel Castro among other statesmen, voiced concern at the ongoing centralisation of power in India and the gradual dismantling of federal principles which, he cautioned, would erode multiculturalism. However, he was optimistic about Kerala, since it is a land steeped in a strident secular tradition, embrace of the ‘other’ and catholicity of taste.
The senior journalist also took questions from students on various topics connected to media and global politics. Historian Prof M G S Narayanan presided over the meeting. Fr. John Mannarathara CMI, Director, Chavara Cultural Centre and Principal, Silver Hills Public School, engineer-conservationist Prof A Achuthan, cardiologist Dr K Sugathan and academician Prof. V Sukumaran spoke on the occasion.
Fr Joseph Edapadiyil CMI presented a memento to the eminent guest. Jyothi Krishnan Unni, faculty, both welcomed the gathering and compered too. School co-ordinator Sinu Tara Cherian delivered the vote of thanks. Also present were Fr Saneesh Chuzhaniyil CMI, Vice Principal, and Manohar N E, Managing Partner, Poorna Publications.
The author can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org