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A journalist should be a rebel: Kuldip Nayar

Tuesday May 10, 2011 08:52:46 PM, IANS

New Delhi: Bemoaning the falling standards of journalism in the country, veteran journalist Kuldip Nayar Tuesday said journalists today were merely writing what the establishment dished out to them as press notes while the real challenge was to "go behind" the news.

Speaking at the convocation of the first batch of students of the International Media Institute of India (IMII) at the India International Centre, Nayar described journalists who do not delve into the issue and were confined only to their offices as "babus".

"Today," he regretted, "they make their reports from press notes."

"It is not the job a journalist to have holy cows, defend the government, see the vested interests flourish but the job of a journalist is to expose and to be a rebel," said Nayar, who at 86 remains one of the most widely read journalists whose columns are syndicated in over 80 newspapers and magazines in 15 languages in the subcontinent and the Gulf.

"A journalist is known for its credibility," said Nayar, who also narrated to the rapt audience how he broke the story about Pakistani nuclear scientist A.Q. Khan admitting to him in a fit of pique that his country had the nuclear bomb much before they actually tested it in retaliation to India's tests in May 1998.

Nayar, who has also served as press adviser to prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri, high commissioner to the United Kingdom and a Member of Parliament, said the romance of journalism lies in finding the truth. "Only then will the people put their faith in you."

He later presented awards and certificates to 27 students of the first batch of IMII, which was launched last year in collaboration with the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ), Washington, a non-profit organisation dedicated to improving the standard of journalism worldwide for the public good, and the Society for Policy Studies (SPS), New Delhi.

Four foreign students, including two from Bhutan and two from Liberia, attended the course.






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