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We live and learn

The Press Council chief has seen us journalists for what we are - empty on the upper floor

india Updated: Oct 31, 2011 21:19 IST
Hindustan Times

For years, we have lived in terror that we will be found out. Now the secret that we have hugged close to our chests has been revealed by none other than Press Council chairman and former Supreme Court judge Markandey Katju. He has pointed out in a television interview that journalists in general have a "very poor intellectual level". He does not think that journalists have much knowledge of such subjects as economic theory, political science, literature and philosophy. If fact, he does not think that we humble scribes have studied at all.

But while we are mortified that we have been outed, what really worries us is that he wants the media, mainly the electronic media, to be reined in using the 'danda'. This has sent shivers down our spines because clearly print journalists cannot escape scrutiny. This has meant an additional burden for us. While we would dash off our gems of prose with the greatest of ease after a quick search on Google or a natter with a friendly lifeline, we will now have to bone up on the subjects we write about. So, this means that we will have to start poring over the works on great economists, philosophers and litterateurs whose names we cannot spell without help. We can only do this by working through the night and on our holidays. As you may have guessed we are no noble and valiant souls who will fight in the trenches and beaches to uphold our right to free, if erroneous, expression. No more liberties with the language, no more juvenile anecdotes, from now on each of our offerings will read like a condensed version of War and Peace, if not the collected works of Winston Churchill.

And the readers will have the Press Council, which may be renamed the Media Council once it gets more teeth, to thank for this elevation in standards. Now if you don't mind, we are off to buy all the material we will require to become lofty and learned.

First Published: Oct 31, 2011 21:15 IST