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Book revolving around controversies in Hindi journalism, its past, present and future

By Bharat Dogra* 

A new book on Hindi journalism edited by Atal Tewari and published by Setu Prakshan is a very welcome addition to the rather limited literature on Hindi journalism relative to its vast reach. Editor of “Tadbhav” journal Akhilesh and senior journalist Abhishek Srivastava have made an important contribution to this book titled ‘Patrakarita: Parampara, Samkaal aur Bhavishya’ (Journalism: Past, Present and Future) which carries contributions by several leading journalists and media researchers.
There are not many books on Hindi journalism which combine a presentation of some of the more recent debates and controversies along with more durable issues. This is where this book stands out for its special contribution.
Yet another reason which adds to the usefulness of this book is that while dealing primarily with Hindi journalism the writers of this volume also partially cover journalism of other languages including English. There are several contributions by eminent journalists from other languages like English and Urdu as well (as well interviews with them).
An important asset of this book is that it has not hesitated to boldly take up some of the more recent problems of Hindi media including the actions taken against some of those journalists who took a more independent position. Some of the recent such episodes have been highlighted in this book.
The editor has been careful to select important issues in such a way that almost all important media debates have been covered in this book. In addition some of the less discussed issues like district editions of newspapers and cartoon journalism have also been covered.
The editor has been careful to select important issues in such a way that almost all important media debates have been covered
The editor also deserves credit for getting just the right writers for covering various subjects. Hence here we have Bhasha Singh writing on the problems of women journalists, Rajendra Dhorpakar writing on the issues confronting cartoon journalism, Zafar Agha writing on Urdu journalism and Paranjoy Guha Thakurta being interviewed on experiences of working independently.
Senior editors like Mrinal Pande and Sumit Chakravartty have written more generally on some crucial issues facing media, while Anand Pradhan has contributed the final chapter on future prospects and ‘saving’ journalism.
There are also contributions on reporting from sensitive regions including Kashmir and the Northeast. Contributions by Krishan Pratap and Sheetal P. Singh on communalism and media are particularly important in the context of recent times. Dilip Mandal has written on the alternative media efforts of Dalit media.
Senior journalists like Ramsharan Joshi, Arvind Mohan, Nagendra , Rajesh Kumar and Priyadarshan have contributed on important institutional issues like Media Commission, Pay Commission, Press Council, independent news agency and self-regulation.
Media ownership issues have been covered by Anil Chamaria while media education has been covered by Prof. Mukesh Kumar. Dr. A.K. Arun and Arun Tiwari have written about how health and environment issues have been covered in Hindi media.
Either contributions by or interviews with such eminent editors as P. Sainath, Lalit Surjan and Anand Swaroop Verma have added further to the value of this 384 page book which has been priced rather moderately at INR 525.
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*Involved in several alternative media efforts, apart from contributing nearly 11,000 articles and reports in English and Hindi

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