Sunday, December 14, 2008

Excuse me, I hate to point out you're missing a brain

My friend was at a cyber cafe a few days ago when he heard some guys dissing the media industry. He's a journalist too, as many of my friends are. It's ironic, but journalists tend to be an insular lot. Getting back to the point, he didn't take kindly to the derogatory remarks. Few do, especially when it's the fraternity they belong to in question. But it's a democratic society, and people have the right to freely express their opinion. So he had decided to leave the unintentional eavesdropping at that. Incidentally, the guys who made the remarks were aspirants of a national exam which applicants take to join governmental service.

A few moments later, the guys made the mistake of saying that a particular national daily was the final word in the country's journalism and that there was no hope for the newer, emerging models of journalism.

Journalists, have their faults, just like everyone else. The industry is flawed too, much like all others.

But that was it. My friend decided to let the journalist in him do the talking. He walked up to them and said it was a shame that they planned on joining national service when they couldn't even think for themselves. He was referring to their affinity for the particular national daily over all else only because it's the prescribed reading material during the time that they prepare to write this highly competitve test. He asked them how they intended to make decisions for the country when they couldn't decide what they liked to read for themselves. They were merely following the instructions of an archaic panel whom they wished to please and had no real opinion, or at least not one that they were comfortable to express openly.

I'm so proud of you, not for disrupting the peace in the cyber cafe, but for making a valid point that needed to be heard. Sure journalists have their faults and the industry is flawed. Heck, it's dying too, according to many. But it's moments like these make me proud to be one, to belong to the industry and reassure me that it's not possible that several others like me could have all made the same gross mistake.