India Uncut

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Monday, February 21, 2005

Embedded journalism in Mumbai

There are few better ways of getting insight into a story than making yourself a part of it. Mid Day does this marvellously well. Consider this story they have run today: "Mid Day reporter turns watchman for you". What the newspaper wanted to highlight was how easy it is to become a watchman of a building without any kind of background check being done on you. Other newspapers would perhaps have interviewed a watchman or two and got some quotes from the head of a security agency. But the Mid Day reporter on the story, Prasad Patil, actually went and got the job of a watchman, and acted as a watchman for a couple of days.

His account of how he got the job, and the pictures with it, give the story instant weight and credibility. This brand of embedded journalism is a Mid Day speciality, and they often surprise us with such wonderful stories. A month ago, for example, seven of their reporters became hawkers for a day. And some years ago, in order to highlight how difficult it is for disabled people to get around a city, Annie Zaidi travelled around for a day in a wheelchair. You can't argue with argue with stories like these, and are forced to notice them.
amit varma, 4:54 PM| write to me | permalink | homepage

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