India’s first Newspaper Collector Shashanka Dash

Shashanka Shekhar Dash, who have collected 1,577 newspapers, has already been placed in the Indian Book of Records.

Newspaper collector Shashanka Shekhar Dash says his recent collection is an Afghani paper brought out by a 14-year-old boy.

Browsing through a newspaper while sipping a cup of tea is a morning ritual in almost every household. But not too many would think of collecting newspapers found across the world. Shashanka Shekhar Dash, who claims to have collected 1,577 newspapers, has already been placed in the Indian Book of Records. This 33-year-old from Arangabad village in Odisha, is now aiming to set up a paper museum soon.

Ask him how he developed this habit and Dash says, “I started collecting newspapers in 2001 when I was associated with a media in Rourkela. Right now, I have 1,577 newspapers from 37 countries in 33 languages. I have 150 newspapers from abroad, 391 single day Indian dailies and one handwritten newspaper called Din Dalit that is published from Dumka in Jharkhand. I also have 13 newspapers with Orissa in the title, 12 newspapers with Odisha in the masthead and 14 newspapers with the name Utkala.”

Though Dash has never been abroad, he has still managed to collect publications from abroad. “Sometimes my friends have got the papers for me. On other cases, I’ve written directly to the newspaper offices. Most of them have obliged. It was most difficult to source a newspaper called Voice of the Children that is published from Afghanistan by 14-year-boy Hamid,” he says.

Isn’t preservation a problem? “I keep all the newspapers in separate polythene bags. I am also a keen collector of souvenirs, books and magazines. My dream is to set up a newspaper library and museum in my village. This, I’m sure, will be of great help to the researchers and scholars,” he signs off.

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Daily routine of foreign journalist in India: A guideline

Dateline India: (top) Vanessa Dougnac of Le Point at her office-in-residence. Priyanka Parashar / Mint; and veteran Mark Tully, who worked with BBC in India for 30 years. Ramesh Pathania / Mint

A foreign correspondent is a journalist who covers news for a newspaper/ radio/ TV channel/ magazine/ website/ wire service in another country. He could be stationed in a foreign country working for a media outlet in his homeland or based in the latter, working for a media outlet of another nation. One must be well qualified to become a foreign correspondent. But your growth and success depends primarily on your performance. Your qualification only helps you find the first job. Later, what matters is your work and performance. Reporting as a foreign correspondent not only involves international affairs, but it also entails local stories covered from an international perspective or with a human interest.

The appetite for news from India is expected to constantly increase in the West which will increase the number of foreign correspondents in India. Vishal Arora a journalist who writes on politics, religion and foreign affairs in south and south-east Asia lists down some guidelines to be followed and the practical schedule being followed by the foreign media correspondents in India in his article titled Faraway messenger in Hindustan Times HT Education:

Clockwork
9am: Watch/read news at the log-in service (to access the newsroom) provided by the organisation 

10am: Follow the local media  
10.30am: Talk to contacts
11am: Explore the day’s development
Noon to 5 pm: Cover the day’s news
6pm: Discuss the coverage with the editor and discuss the modalities of publication
One also goes for media briefings, mainly by the government/army authorities. Often, travel to other cities, towns or villages for stories

The payoff
You can earn Rs. 1,00,000 per month as a foreign correspondent (for which you have to spend atleast five to 10 years in the industry). After that, compensation would rise depending on your experience

Skills/TRAITS
* Curiosity – the essence of any form of journalism

* Open-minded approach where you don’t dismiss anything as futile

Getting there
After working as a journalist, for a few years, you can work your way up. There are few journalists who become foreign correspondents quite early in their careers, especially in news agencies. For that, one has to be extremely focused in one’s approach

Institutes and URLs
* Asian College of Journalism,Chennai, 

 www.asianmedia.org
* IIMC, Delhi/ Dhenkanal, 
 www.iimc.nic.in
Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi 
 www.ajkmcrc.org
   
Pros and cons 
* Relatively better paying as compared to other areas of journalism
* RYou get to explore the world
* Though it’s not a thumb rule, usually you don’t stay in one country for a long time 
* Risky job. You may be sent to areas embroiled in civil, military or political unrest

Portugal among Europe’s biggest drinkers !!

A 161-page document released this week looking into the state of alcoholism in Europe has placed Portugal amongst the top ten consumers in the continent.

The study entitled Alcohol in the European Union was compiled by the World Health Organisation (WHO) using vast amounts of national and international research findings.

The average amount of alcohol consumed in Portugal was placed at 13.43 litres per annum, above the European average of 12.45 litres.

Portugal was found to be one of the highest alcohol-related road fatalities, but still fared better than Belgium or Austria.

Absenteeism due to excesses the night before was also high in Portugal, which led researchers to reach the conclusion that those who drink in Portugal drink heavily.

Nonetheless, alcohol consumers in Portugal were the least prone to binging, which is defined as six drinks in one evening on at least one occasion each month.

The percentage in Portugal of males who admit to being binge drinkers was 12.2 percent, below the 13.1 percent of British women who said they regularly over-indulged. The figure for Portuguese women was 2.7 percent for women. Both Portuguese men and women enjoyed the second lowest rates (only Spanish males fared better with 4.8 percent while only 2.4 percent of Polish women said they would have six drinks or more in an evening). Greek males topped the list with 50 percent, followed their Cypriot counterparts with 48.1 percent.

In Europe, alcohol is the third leading risk factor for disease and mortality after tobacco and high blood pressure, according to WHO research published in 2009.

The European Union is the region with the highest alcohol consumption in the world.

In 2009, average adult (aged 15+ years) alcohol consumption in the EU was 12.5 litres of pure alcohol – 27g of pure alcohol or nearly three drinks a day, more than double the world average.

Although there are many individual country differences, alcohol consumption in the EU as a whole has continued at a stable level over the past decade.

The harms from drinking disproportionately affect poorer people, researchers also found.

Socially disadvantaged people and people who live in socially disadvantaged areas experience more harm from the same dose of alcohol than those who are better off.

The real absolute risk of dying from an adverse alcohol-related condition increases with the total amount of alcohol consumed over a lifetime. Most alcohol is drunk in heavy drinking occasions, which worsen all risks, including ischaemic heart disease and sudden death.

Alcohol can diminish individual health and human capital throughout the lifespan from the embryo to old age. In absolute terms, it is mostly middle-aged people (men in particular) who die from alcohol.

The adolescent brain is particularly susceptible to alcohol, and the longer the onset of consumption is delayed, the less likely it is that alcohol related problems and alcohol dependence will emerge in adult life.

In the EU in 2004, conservative estimates indicate that almost 95,000 men and over 25,000 women aged between 15 and 64 years died of alcohol-attributable causes (total 120 000, corresponding to 11.8 percent of all deaths in this age category).

This means that one in seven male deaths and one in 13 female deaths in this age category were caused by alcohol.

Researchers also found that countries of southern Europe (Portugal, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Malta, Spain) have a Mediterranean drinking pattern.

In the south of the EU wine has traditionally been produced and drunk, characterised by almost daily drinking of alcohol (often wine with meals), avoidance of irregular heavy drinking and no acceptance of public drunkenness.