NDTV‘s anchor and one of the outspoken & dare devil journalists Sunetra Choudhary had been chasing a UPA minister for some time. He’s never been part of a TV discussion, he rarely gives interviews and yet, he’s often the newsmaker himself. His lack of media savvy perhaps worked in Sunetra’s favour as after the millionth call to his people and haranguing them with her questionnaires, she finally got them to convey her message. When they called her to confirm a half-hour interview slot, Sunetra couldn’t believe her luck.
At the appointed hour, she arrived with her tiny battalion of producer, camera people and assistants to claim her date with breaking news. The Minister had just arrived, and they were setting up, when she was called in for ‘a word.’
“Let me give you the interview like this only, why the camera?” said the minister.
Surprised Sunetra told him, “Excuse me, sir, you know I’m from a TV channel?”
Finally, the minister decided to level with her. “Actually some other journalists got to know about this and they cornered me in the Central Hall,” he said, referring to the area in Parliament where senior journalists can mingle with MPs and ministers over tea. “They said you can’t talk to her. They made me promise that I won’t be seen talking to you on TV or I would have to speak to everyone which I don’t want to do.”
Astonished Sunetra again pleaded, “But, Sir, you promised me?”
“I know but what can I do? They weren’t just any old reporters, they are well-known editors,” he said apologetically, naming the heads of two other channels. He looked helpless, and the NDTV anchor heartbroken.
Now with her headline-hunting dream shattered, She returned to office telling her colleagues this unbelievable tale of
“how big-time editors were going around ruining opportunities for small fry like me.”
“But why are you surprised?” they said. Apparently, this happens every day in pursuit of the ‘exclusive story.’
Read her full column in DNA: http://www.dnaindia.com/analysis/column_sunetra-choudhury-scribe-vs-scribe_1681672
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