the last few weeks have seen a lot of travel. gujarat. before that, chhattisgarh. and before that, kerala. and i will soon be in andhra and maharashtra. am uploading some snaps from some of the places i have visited. in the weeks and months ahead, i need to travel more, spend more time in the field, and do a better job of reporting on the processes underway in india than i have done till now.
three and a half years have gone by at the economic times. and i am slowly realising just how unequal my work is before the processes at work.
see it like this. a while ago, i had reproduced an excerpt from a graphic novel on berlin where the narrator, a journalist, says this about journalism.
I imagine the daily output of the entire newspaper district. It makes me think of drowning, but I want to be able to see it another way. Instead: human history as a great river, finding its course along the lowest points in the landscape, and each page as a stone. Tossed in without purpose, just to see the splash, thousands of them might raise the water level until it escapes the confines of the riverbed. The water spreads out, the force of the river diminishes, before long, a marsh. But if each stone is placed carefully and with purpose, perhaps something can be built. Not to dam the current, but to divert its course.
it is a good way of looking at journalism. but of late, after writing on coal and whatnot, another river-based analogy comes to my mind. if human history is a river, all we reporters do is shine a light on a part of this river for some time. but, given the plethora of things to write about and the velocity of the river itself, in some time, the spotlight of the media attention inevitably moves away to examine other parts of the river. which means the previous set of issues being covered again slip back into obscurity. also, what the spotlight picks out, most of the time, is the stuff visible on the surface. deeper processes underway in the belly of the river escape our notice.
imperfect process, journalism.