Three-day Journalists’ Literature Festival ends at Chandigarh Press Club with thought-provoking sessions : The Tribune India

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Three-day Journalists’ Literature Festival ends at Chandigarh Press Club with thought-provoking sessions

Three-day Journalists’ Literature Festival ends at Chandigarh Press Club with thought-provoking sessions

Rohit Mahajan, Executive Editior, The Tribune, speaks on the third day of Journalists Literature Festival. Also seen are senior journalists Pradeep Magazine and Sharda Ugra. Tribune photo: Pradeep Tewari



Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 25

The three-day Journalists’ Literature Festival at the Chandigarh Press Club, Sector 27, reached its culmination, leaving an indelible mark on literary enthusiasts from across the region. The final day was marked by engaging sessions that explored the intersection of literature, journalism, and societal issues.

Jupinderjit Singh, flanked by Yadvinder Singh (Left) and Shamsher Chandel, speaks on the alternative media at Chandigarh Press Club, Sector 27, on Sunday. Tribune Photo: Pradeep Tewari

The day progressed with a compelling session on cricket and society titled “The objectivity challenge: Cricket, society, and journalism”. Seasoned cricket writers Pradeep Magazine, Sharda Ugra, and Rohit Mahajan addressed various issues, including match-fixing, the Indian Premier League, and the intersection of cricketers with English and reservation.

All three writers acknowledged the privilege of being paid to cover a sport, interact with cricketing superstars, and travel the world on the company’s dime. However, they also acknowledged the pressures that come with the job, recognising the evolving nature of sports journalism. Ugra, who began her career the same year as Tendulkar, humorously noted, “He has retired, but I am still writing.” Reflecting on her experience as a woman sports journalist, she found it relatively easy to interact with officials and cricketers who were curious about a woman in the field.

Comparing cricket reporting then and now, Ugra highlighted the impact of professionalisation, noting the emergence of agents and managers. Mahajan added that, “The voice of the cricketer is now controlled”, recalling a time when journalists had more access to players, even obtaining insights into selection decisions.

Ugra cautioned aspiring sports reporters to write mindfully, considering the current climate where journalists were perceived as adversaries. In response to an audience query about the IPL promoting match-fixing, she commented, “Such is its format,” with Magazine adding, “Newspapers are not interested in covering this story.”

Magazine, known for exposing the match-fixing scandal, shared how he faced backlash from players, authorities, and fellow journalists initially but emphasised that the truth eventually came to light.

He also lamented the lack of representation of Dalits in Indian national teams, raising awareness about the ongoing disparities in sports.

A stimulating session on fiction writing, featured esteemed authors Chetna Keer, Aditya Kant, Sanjay Versain, and senior journalist Aruti Nayyar. The panel delved into the theme of “Mirroring social concern and changes through fiction”. Keer’s “Garnets Under My Gulmohar” addressed climate change, Kant’s “High on Kasol” focused on drug trafficking, and Versain’s “Pee For Protest” explored the anatomy of protest.

When asked by Nayyar about their roles as activists, Kant expressed, “I write for myself and do not expect my writing to bring a sea change.” Keer and Versain, while addressing social issues, emphasised their roles as storytellers rather than activists.

The second session, titled “Alternative media – Strengths and concerns”, featured prominent journalists Jupinderjit Singh, Yadwinder Singh, Shamsher Chandel, and Rajinder Kaur. The panel discussed the impact of digitalisation on journalism, with Chandel noting the shift from traditional checks to anyone with a camera potentially being a reporter.

Jupinderjit Singh objected to the term “alternate media”, stating that it was now mainstream, and even traditional print stories often relied on social media. The pitfalls of social media were explored, with Singh highlighting its impact on individuals like the singer Moosewala.

The day concluded with a session on “Women’s issues through the lens of journalism”, featuring journalists Nirupama Dutt, Veenu Sandhu, and Chandigarh Press Club president Saurabh Duggal. The panel discussed historical challenges faced by women in journalism, advocating for increased representation and addressing societal norms.

About The Author

The Tribune News Service brings you the latest news, analysis and insights from the region, India and around the world. Follow the Tribune News Service for a wide-ranging coverage of events as they unfold, with perspective and clarity.


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