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Dilip Awasthi

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The Special Correspondent
by Dilip Awasthi   

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Publisher:  Viva Books Pvt. Ltd. ISBN-10:  813090246X Type: 


ISBN-13:  9788130902463

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A book for anyone who wants to have an insight in journalism and how it is handled. Within one year this book rolled out its second revised edition.

Rarely have I come across performing teachers who will tell you that you can also do it. My bad luck. This book practically comes as my revenge towards those seniors who love watching sagging young faces so that their one-upmanship remains intact. Ravi Shankar’s sitar possesses the same octaves as any other similar instrument, or Sachin Tendulkar’s willow also conforms to the standard dimensions of the bats available in the market. If they can do it, why can’t you? Agreed that these are people with some extraordinary talent. The moot question however is whether each one of us has had a fair chance to explore our own latent talent. My answer is a big No. The reason is simple. Academics always present us with the mountain view of a molehill.My next question is: does Ravi Shankar consult a musical notation book to play a touching tune or Tendulkar grope through the cricketing copybook to sweet-time his shots? It comes to them fairly naturally and spontaneously. The only difference perhaps is that they have slogged to reach these heights. They have worked hard and risen through the ranks. It takes a while to reach a position and produce your best.This book will make the students of journalism and the budding journalists know and feel how it works outside a classroom situation.   Excerpt
This morning you wake up and find something amiss. The bed-tea doesn’t taste the same. The routine visit to the washroom seems to take longer than before. You switch on the television news channels but it still does not work. The rush to leave for work keeps niggling at you but you wonder why did the breakfast taste so awry today? These and possibly many more symptoms are evoked by just one missing early morning visit. Today is one of those rare days when your hawker hasn’t delivered your newspaper. The nagging feeling continues almost till your next morning. Why? You may read or reject, agree or disagree, believe or disbelieve but even a quick scan through the newspaper pages leaves you with a feeling of remaining in touch with the world around you.....If Life decides to go on normally, a journalist will be on the look out for another job. Give anything an interesting twist, and invest it with a little extra effort, and the reader may keep reading. You can never please everyone. Nobody reads everything published. But by putting forth something different, you at least stand a chance of pleasing some people. Information, which can tingle a reader’s mind or imagination, ensures a reporter his salary. Raising satisfaction with content increases readership.

Professional Reviews

Capture readers!
WHEN writing news stories, forget things such as `superb system', `wonderful experience', and `a nasty cut on the forehead', advises Dilip Awasthi in, The Special Correspondent, from Viva ( "Instead choose facts and statements, which will help the reader choose the right adjective." The `handbook for reporters' has racy discussion on the art of interviewing, packaging a story, hi-tech reporting and so on. Among "20 capture readers tricks" are these: Run better photos bigger; run one good profile per day, preferably on an ordinary person; reserve a corner of a page, each day, for one terrific news feature, 300 words or less; on Saturdays, scrap the op-ed page, and replace it with pieces written by readers; run a Q&A interview everyday in a predictable place; commit even more space to peppy or recreational spots; and include one story a day that makes people laugh. Don't forget to read the chapter on `better words and expressions'. Helpful inputs.

World of words
THE late British journalist David Murray had once defined a reporter as "a man who has renounced everything in life but the world, the flesh, and the devil." That was in 1931. There has been a sea change in the profile since then. Yet, essentials remain the same. Today, despite professional courses run by academic institutions, a reporter feels that he is on his own.

In this indispensable handbook for young journalists, Awasthi begins with a universal truth, we are all born journalists, with each one of us having a unique style of telling stories. Only some of us get the chance to hone this latent skill and become professionals. Again, says Awasthi, young journalists normally learn several aspects of journalism through experience rather than under their seniors’ guidance. Hence this book, which is also "my revenge on those seniors who love watching sagging young faces so that their one-upmanship remains intact."

However, Awasthi has not written in anger. It is more of an experienced professional’s thoughtful gesture towards greenhorns. He advises them to "do things simply" as "Academics always present us with the mountain view of a molehill." So, while gathering news, use your eye rather than nose, advises the veteran. He has thoughtfully divided the chapters under such headings as "Structuring of news stories", "The art of interviewing", "Writing the story" and "Packaging the story" etc. The writer Desmond Macarthy once aptly remarked that journalism is all about being "more attentive to the minute hand of history than to the hour hand." This could be your mantra to achieve success.

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