April 30, 2016

జర్నలిస్టు అంతరంగాలు

జర్నలిస్టు: చిన్నపుడు బాగా చదువుకుని వుండాల్సింది. ఈ బతుకు తప్పేది.
జర్నలిస్టు తండ్రి: వీడిమీద ఇంకొంచెం శ్రద్ధ పెట్టాల్సింది. వీడి జీవితం నా వల్లే పాడైంది.
జర్నలిస్టు తల్లి: అయ్యో, నా తండ్రికి స్థిమితమైన జీవితం లేదు కదా.
జర్నలిస్టు భార్య: పెళ్ళికి ఒప్పుకునే ముందు కొంచెం ఆలోచించాల్సింది. అమ్మా నాన్నల మాటవినివుండాల్సింది.
జర్నలిస్టుల అత్త మామలు: మన కుటుంబంలో ఇంకెపుడూ జర్నలిస్టుకు పిల్లనివ్వకూడదు.
జర్నలిస్టు పిల్లలు: నాన్న ఇంకేదైనా ఉద్యోగం చేసుంటే సాయంత్రాలు హాయిగా ఆడుకుని వుండేవాళ్ళం.
జర్నలిస్టు బాసు: ఏమీ చదవకుండా ఫీల్డ్ లోకి వచ్చేస్తారు. ఇంకేదైనా పని చూసుకోవాల్సింది.
జర్నలిస్టు ఇంటి ఓనరు: జన్మలో జర్నలిస్టుకు ఇల్లు అద్దెకి ఇవ్వకూడదు.

(కొన్ని నెలల క్రితం ఫేస్ బుక్ లో రాసింది. మరోసారి) 

April 26, 2016

10 Free Apps Every Entrepreneur Should Have http://flip.it/K7xo9

When the start-up bug bites journalists

 The start-up phenomenon is infectious. Start-ups excite not just those who are starting up but also those who are covering it. When the start-up bug bites, who cares a damn about the high rate of mortality?
 Every idea looks great and promises to solves this or that problem the society faces.
  Tracking start-ups in the last five years, I'm always bewildered at their agility, their ability to think differently and busting the myths.   Their innocent and sincere belief that they can create something big, out of thin air. 
  Their devil-may-care attitude and their ability to take risks, particularly in a country like India where failure is not treated with any respect never fail to amaze. 

Positive Vibes

  You feel energized with the young entrepreneurs moving around with a lot of optimism, spreading positive vibes. For someone in journalism with a lot of skeptics around spreading negative vibes, it's a cultural shock.
   You feel younger than you are after spending some time with them. I never lose an opportunity to interact with them, see them presenting their ideas.
  No wonder if the start-up bug bites journalists too. At least two journalists I know and worked with at some point of time in my career quit their otherwise comfortable jobs to start up.

 It's not something new that journalists quitting their jobs to set up their own business ventures. That was pre-start-up era.
A friend of mine, Prasad Kunisetty, quit journalism in the dotcom boom era of late 1990s to try something in technology business.
In the last two months at least two journalists that I know have announced their start-up plans.


Adrobe Networks

   Raji Reddy Kesireddy, who worked in a couple of Telugu newspapers before joining Economic Times, put in his papers to set up a hyper local e-commerce venture Adrobe. He says there is a lot of potential that local groceries and other local retailers can tap.
  He argues that the discounts that they offer are going to the 'physical' customers. They can do well if they offer the same discounts to the virtual customers.
  With Rs 1 crore he raised from family and friends, he has just rolled out the services. He hires 18 people to connect the retailers with the customers, who have just begun to relish taste of e-commerce.


FactorDaily 
 The other initiative is from Pankaj Mishra, arguably one of the finest technology reporters in the country. I admired him for his simple writing skills, breaking reports and level-headed approach to journalism and people.
 His FactorDaily promises to bring technology news that you can use. I see a dire need for such kind of a news site. Though technology reporters have been writing on technology products and services that impact our lives, it's all in bits and pieces. 

I can't wait to see how his venture lives up to the promises it makes. 
Here's what Pankaj relates the idea. https://medium.com/factor-daily/why-we-started-factordaily-94ad3d4611b3#.1o401ayso 
"So why are we doing this?
Technology is going mainstream in India, and by that, I am not referring to the country’s software services industry. It’s the way people in India, across the demographics, are applying technology and social tools to get more out of life. It’s very similar to how software is eating the world. And as technology storytellers, we believe this is the best time to make sense of technology disruption, newer companies and people shaping the next big ideas in India."

Challenging task
I'm sure they know how risky it is to run a start-up. We know. Because, nothing is riskier than being a journalist. I wish both all the best in their endeavours.

Links:
https://www.facebook.com/adrobe.in/?fref=ts

https://medium.com/factor-daily/about


April 25, 2016

గోమాత

పని లేక..: గోమాత: "అయ్యో, అయ్యయ్యో! దుర్మార్గులారా! గోమాతని చంపేశారా?" "అయ్యా.. " "అమ్మా గోమాతా! నిన్ను రక్షించుకోలేకపొ...

A reporter's view of a PR - 1

The Top-10 things that can help both sides
   I have been planning to write a piece on the love-hate relationship between the journalists and PR for a long time. But I always hesitated, restrained myself from doing so. You are no one to pass judgments on a profession. But then I thought it's time for some loud thinking. 
   The relationship between journalists and PR professionals, by and large, is a love-hate one. Though there are exceptions, the relationship is always strained, put to test every day. I'm not trying to say that all journalists are good and epitome of great virtues and that PR guys are bad. That's not the idea. 
 I know there are black sheep on either side of the fence and that some of them are habitual trouble makers.
  The idea is to ponder over the things that pit journalists against the PR and vice versa. I always believe that a PR is a facilitator, nothing more nothing less. I have read a few articles in the recent past on this subject -- mostly from the PR perspective. I found them insufficient in portraying the full picture.
  What's that a journalist hates most? Some friends in the PR industry often pose this question and I have shared some of the following ideas with them over a period of time. This is only compilation of such thoughts.

1) Story ideas.

 More often than not a PR calls from nowhere (means other cities) to suggest a story idea.

"Sir, there is a story idea where our clients are willing to share their views," a PR would say.
He or she, actually, has crossed the line. The idea and inputs -- all bundled into one! Or, buy-one-get-one offer!


2) CSR stories.

Several business reporters hate to write CSR, goody-goody stories about corporates. It may be a great thing for the corporate to start this or that CSR activity but it is of no consequence to the reader.
As long as your client refuses to give a 'corporate' story, reporters won't show any interest in the stories that are meant to building the image.

3) One-on-one's on the day of the press conference.

This is one of the oldest PR habits. Picking one or two reporters (obviously representing top publications) for exclusive one-on-ones on the day of a PC is a very bad idea. It might work for both the PR and the corporate in question, but it leaves a bad taste.


4) Citing reports appeared in a publication

Giving clippings of a report appeared in a publication in the press kit is repulsive. No one loves competition. I experienced it myself when the spokesperson referred to an article published in another paper.


5) Give a heads up

 It's a good idea to send an SMS to the beat reporter, giving a heads up to a major announcement, news, statement (though it goes against the client's interest), release of results or visit of a top executive.


6) No fair weather relationship

I see some PRs simply go into flight mode whenever something major happens. They don't answer calls (even after factoring in reasonable time lapse), don't reply to mails. This really pisses off the reporters. Reporters work against strict deadlines and today is the most sacred day for them to file the story. Tomorrow is another day.


7) RSVP 

If a PR firm/corporate assigns an RSVP number, it must work till the event lasts. A, RSVP not answering calls does more harm than it helps. An RSVP number must be a mobile no, not the landline.


8) Dropping names

Some PRs tend to drop names of big people and refer to their association with top reporters and publications. I'm not saying they don't know them. They might have really known them very well but it won't really serve any purpose. A reporter works at his/her own pace and he/she won't appreciate the veiled arm-twisting/brow-beating methods and I-know-your-boss well attitude.


9) Don't pit one reporter against another, one bureau against another
Some PRs tend to pit one reporter against another, particularly in the same bureau and counterparts in different bureaus of a publication. This is really irritating. If a reporter refuses to write on a subject in a city (to avoid controversial, questionable firms), PRs try contacting a counterpart in a different city to sell the idea.
This ploy might work once or twice but when the publication realises this trick, it might impose a permanent clamp on that firm.

10) Exclusives

 It is quite common for PRs to set up 'exclusive' meetings with reporters. I know how this works. We get some, they get some. Fair enough. But the moment of truth is when a big shot comes to the city. If you set up a meeting with one or two publications, remember you have just earned more enemies than friends. You must remember that you have more than one client and that you will have to face the reporters you barred from an interaction.

  I know PRs, sometimes, act under pressure from the clients. But that's not a reporter's headache. He is not someone to take it light, when a PR/firm excludes him/her.



(The list is not exhaustive. Will try to write a couple of more pieces some time later.)

రేపు నిన్ను ఎవరో అరెష్టు చేస్తారు

-బొల్లోజు బాబా
~

ఆధునిక ప్రపంచంలో నువ్వెవరవో ఎవరికీ అక్కరలేదు.  నువ్వేం చెపుతున్నావన్నదే ముఖ్యం.  ఆ చెప్పేది “వారికి” ఏ మేరకు మేలుచేస్తుందన్న దానిబట్టే నీ మనుగడ, నీ భద్రజీవితం.  ఇదొక అదృశ్య ఆధిపత్య పోరు.
ప్రముఖ కవయిత్రి,  మీనా కందసామి వ్రాసిన ఈ కవిత ఈనాటి రాజకీయ సామాజిక వాస్తవికతకు అద్దంపడుతుంది. కేరళ ప్రభుత్వం చేపట్టిన భూసేకరణకు, అక్కడి వాసితులను బలవంతంగా తొలగించటానికి వ్యతిరేకంగా ప్రజాస్వామ్యయుతంగా పోరాడుతున్న ఇద్దరు యువకులను, జనవరి 2015 లో అరెష్టు చేసింది ప్రభుత్వం.
అదీ ఈ కవితకు నేపథ్యం.
ఈ కవితలో ‘నిన్ను’ అన్న సంభోధనలోనే ఈ ప్రపంచంతో నీ మనుగడ ప్రశ్నార్ధకమైందన్న అంశం దాగిఉంది.  ఆ ‘నువ్వు’  లో ‘నేను’  లేను అనుకోవటం మనల్ని మనం మోసగించుకోవటమే. చివర్లో  నిశ్శబ్దమా వర్ధిల్లు అనటం ఈ సమాజం ప్రదర్శిస్తున్న నిర్లిప్తతపై గొప్ప వక్రోక్తి.

*******

రేపు నిన్ను ఎవరో అరెష్టు చేస్తారు
రేపు నిన్ను ఎవరో అరెష్టు చేస్తారు.  నీ ఇంట్లో ఏదో సమస్యాత్మక పుస్తకం ఉందని ఆధారం చూపుతారు
రేపు నిన్ను ఎవరో అరెష్టు చేస్తారు.  పోలీసులు చెప్పారని ప్రసారమాధ్యమాలన్నీ నిన్ను తీవ్రవాది అనటాన్ని నీ మిత్రులు టివిలో చూస్తారు.
రేపు నిన్ను ఎవరో అరెష్టు చేస్తారు. లాయర్లందరినీ భయపెడతారు.  నీ కేసు తీసుకొన్న లాయర్ ఆ పైవారం అరెష్టు చేయబడతాడు
రేపు నిన్ను ఎవరో అరెష్టు చేస్తారు.  ఆ మర్నాడు నిన్ను ఫేస్ బుక్ లో చూస్తారు నీ మిత్రులు.  పోలీసులే నీ పేరుతో ప్రవేశిస్తారు
రేపు నిన్ను ఎవరో అరెష్టు చేస్తారు.  పిటిషన్ పై  వెయ్యి సంతకాలు తీసుకోవటానికి నాలుగురోజులు పడుతుంది నీ మిత్రులకు
రేపు నిన్ను ఎవరో అరెష్టు చేస్తారు.  నీ చిట్టితల్లి UAPA  అంటే ఏమిటో తెలుసుకొంటుంది.  నీ మిత్రులకు సెక్షన్-13 అర్ధమౌతుంది.
రేపు నిన్ను ఎవరో అరెష్టు చేస్తారు.  ప్రజలకు నువ్వు ఒక లెఫ్టిస్ట్ వి,  లెఫ్టిస్ట్ లకు నువ్వు ఒక అతి-లెఫ్టిస్ట్ వి.  ఎవరూ మాట్లాడరు.
రేపు నిన్ను ఎవరో అరెష్టు చేస్తారు.  ఇకపై జీవితాంతం నీవు తీవ్రవాదిగానే పరిగణించబడతావు.
రేపు నిన్ను ఎవరో అరెష్టు చేస్తారు.  వాళ్ళు ఒక జాబితా తయారుచేస్తారు.  ఖండించినవారి పేర్లు అందులోకి చేరుతూంటాయి.

రేపు నిన్ను ఎవరో అరెష్టు చేస్తారు.  నిన్ను హెచ్చరిస్తారు.  నీవే ప్రతిఒక్కరికీ ఒక హెచ్చరిక అవుతావు-  కార్పొరేట్ సాలెగూటిలో వేలుపెట్టినందుకు.
రేపు నిన్ను ఎవరో అరెష్టు చేస్తారు.  ఈ రాత్రి నీ ఇల్లు సోదాచేస్తారు.  నిన్ను ప్రశ్నించటానికి తీసుకెళతారు.  మాట్లాడకు.
రేపు నిన్ను ఎవరో అరెష్టు చేస్తారు.  కోర్టు ఓ అరుదైన చర్యగా నీకు బెయిలిస్తుంది.  మరో కేసులో నువ్వు మళ్ళా అరెష్టు చేయబడతావు
రేపు  ఎవరో నీ పిల్లల్ని అరెష్టు చేస్తారు.  నీవు అజ్ఞాతంలోకి వెళిపోతావు.  ప్రజాస్వామ్యాన్ని బతికించటానికి కొన్ని జాగ్రత్తలు తప్పవు.

నిశ్శబ్దమా వర్ధిల్లు!


మూలం: మీనా కందసామి ( The End of Tomorrow)     – తెలుగు అనువాదం: బొల్లోజు బాబా (In Saaranga online literary magazine)http://magazine.saarangabooks.com/2016/04/21/%E0%B0%B0%E0%B1%87%E0%B0%AA%E0%B1%81-%E0%B0%A8%E0%B0%BF%E0%B0%A8%E0%B1%8D%E0%B0%A8%E0%B1%81-%E0%B0%8E%E0%B0%B5%E0%B0%B0%E0%B1%8B-%E0%B0%85%E0%B0%B0%E0%B1%86%E0%B0%B7%E0%B1%8D%E0%B0%9F%E0%B1%81/

April 23, 2016

Blues for the Bard, Remembering Shakespeare




(From Business Line's BLink)

Blues for the Bard: On his 400th death anniversary, a celebration of Shakespeare’s enduring charm


On his 400th death anniversary, a celebration of Shakespeare’s enduring charm
No fear Shakespeare
Presenting an antidote to the ‘Shakesfear’ gripping campuses everywhere — a concoction that uses everything from manga to masala Bollywood
The play’s the thing
The Prince of Elsinore remains an inspiration for a scholar who single-handedly ran a magazine devoted to the Shakespearean play for 25 years
The story of the Shakespeare Wallah in pictures
The classical brilliance of a Laurence Olivier or a John Gielgud is handy if you’re making a Shakespeare film. But as several directors have proved, a rose in another language, era or cultural setup, smells just as sweet
Reconstructed in 1997 by Chicago-born Sam Wanamaker, the Globe Theatre continues to be about all things Shakespeare. Here’s a collection from some of its recent performances
Shorn of awe for the Bard’s literary status in the English language, Vishal Bhardwaj appropriates him to create a contemporary realm of experience
A chance visit to the Bellary jail led Hulugappa Kattimani to pass on his theatre acumen to prisoners, some of whom have been profoundly affected by the onstage experience
With his inimitable flair, Shakespeare tells us not just what his characters ate, but also how it was made
How a resolve to read every Shakespearean play ended on an anticlimactic note
An open letter to Shakespeare from his tragic characters




(This article was published on April 22, 2016)

April 18, 2016

Water, water no where, don't waste it on the pitches


My cartoon on the IPL-water consumption row.
Cricket used to be a winter game. Not long ago, they would hold the games in the winter after the monsoon is gone. I vividly remember the cricketers wearing those nice half-sleeve sweaters. Over a period of time the game has become a golden goose. They play the game 365 days a year, killing the traditional timetable.
When they do this, they will have to gulp huge chunks of water to wet the pitch and ground to keep it in tact in the hot summer. That the BCCI, the richest cricket association in the world, can afford to buy water is a different issue.
A section of the society is enraged as the game began to devour water, the scarce commodity. Not far from the cricket grounds, people are dying to fetch drinking water.
The sharp differences in the country between the haves and havenots have come to the fore, yet again.
They must stop this water guzzler game in the summers and must quench the thirst of people in the drought-hit villages. Cricket can wait.

April 15, 2016

Touchstone to Telugu tales

Touchstone to Telugu tales: Katha Nilayam, with its 88,000-strong collection, is the first stop for any queries on Telugu short stories

No Country for Children

No Country for Children They die in borewells, They perish on the shores, Succumb to Fevers in the jungles, in villages. They die, dum...