“Journalism has real people, real dialogue.” – Vinod Jose
Vinod Jose, the Executive Editor of Caravan, conversed with the students of School of Communication on February 9, the second day of the college’s fest, Article 19.
An alumnus of School of Communication, Jose emphasised the importance of cultivating sources and maintaining good relations with them. He also brought out the challenges and difficulties that journalists face to get an unconventional story published, supported by his experience in the field.
Here is an excerpt from the interview with The Manipal Journal:
There is a large volume of information being provided by traditional media houses these days. How does The Caravan try and implement a different approach with its long-format journalism?
Caravan is a small team compared to other large news organizations. Since it’s a monthly magazine and there is a limited workforce and financial resources are not plenty, we can work only on fewer stories. We try to shout as loud as possible, not in the literal sense, but in the sense that we can do stories in a better way. Whenever a member of the team comes up with an idea, I tell them, let’s do the story in such a manner that, for the next five years, it remains the most important voice. The extensive time taken for research and reporting allows the reporters to work on the story in a manner which enables it to have a long shelf life and readers can refer to the stories in the future as well. This also helps the journalist become an expert on the subject beyond the newsroom. Also, we have a different approach towards editing. I believe editing starts from the ideation stage and not from the first draft. Journalism has real people, real dialogue. It’s important to have the element of good storytelling. When we are writing a report, it’s important to ponder on the aspects of life and how can these stories be made interesting instead of just writing a story in plain news language. In Journalism schools, students are taught the importance of the 5Ws & 1H and the inverted pyramid style of writing. At Caravan, we do keep this aspect in mind but it’s not the most important. We give equal importance to other aspects of tension and drama in the stories.
With burning political issues, journalists tend to face disastrous consequences for speaking the truth. Because of this, modern journalists try to follow popular public opinion rather than providing factual news reports and views to the public. What is your take on this situation?
It will be a sad state of affairs if a journalist succumbs to public opinion and demands. Our stories at Caravan don’t consider public opinion but explore the truth based on the particular situation. Whatever the public opinion, a journalist should tell the story which needs to be told, supported by appropriate facts. Most national television news channels are increasingly becoming the mouthpiece of certain public opinion. This might fetch good Television Rating Points (TRP) and advertising revenue, but they are violating the basic principles of journalism.
Featured image courtesy: Samiksha Shetty
Edited by: Pravin C