Imperialism was well and alive in its new form of western media hegemony, according to Sayeed Naqvi, veteran foreign correspondent, television interviewer and commentator. To counter this, we should do first-hand reporting and interpretation of global events rather than look to syndicates and second and third party coverage as they have their own economic and geo-political agendas. He was speaking at a meeting organised at Silver Hills Public School, under the aegis of Chavara Cultural Centre.
Naqvi reminisced about the time when he started his journalistic career when it took several years of covering various reporters’ beats before a journalist got his first by-line. He bemoaned the lack of integrity in modern journalism which, he said, was a far cry from the olden days when reporters used to develop an ‘ elegant indifference to nodal positions of power’. Today, journalists tend to be swayed by other considerations as, in Naqvi’s words, “ he who pays the piper calls the tune”.
Throughout his long career, he said, he had worked hard to build a media system that would survive vested interests, but had not had much success.
Naqvi voiced his concerns at the centralisation of power in India and the gradual dismantling of federal principles which, he cautioned, would erode multiculturalism. However, he was optimistic about Kerala in this score given its position as a cradle of literacy and its pluralistic society.
The senior journalist also took questions from students on various topics connected to media and global politics. Historian Prof M. G. S. Menon presided over the meeting. Dr Sugathan, cardiologist, Prof. V. Sukumaran, academician and writer, Prof Achutan, engineer and conservationist and Fr. John Mannarathara CMI, Director, Chavara Cultural Centre and Principal, Silver Hills Public School, spoke on the occasion. Jyothi Krishnan Unni, faculty, welcomed the gathering. Also present were Fr Saneesh Chuzhaniyil CMI, Vice Principal, Fr Joseph Edapadiyil CMI and Mr Manohar, Poorna Publications