Scholar-Journalist

Talking news with Nidhi Razdan

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 By Ashita Goel

Renowned journalist and television personality Nidhi Razdan shared her mantra: “Be Honest and Fearless” with budding journalists at an Orientation programme recently organised on an online platform by the School of Journalism and Mass Communication (SJMC) at Apeejay Stya University.

Ms Razdan is an award-winning journalist who has covered a variety of news events and hosted a series of shows, extensively reporting Indian politics and foreign affairs. Her book, Left, Right and Centre: The Idea of India, published in 2017, was a bestseller. She had given 21 precious years of her life to NDTV channel where she rose to the position of Executive Editor with optimum determination and devotion. Through her industrious work, she has left an indelible imprint on the minds of the audience.

SJMC Dean Professor Sanjay Ahirwal introduced Razdan as one of his friends. He drew attention to the prestigious awards like Ramnath Goenka Award and International Press Institute award won by her.

Being an experienced mediaperson, Razdan guided the students on the state of the television news media. She highlighted that in the initial stages of her career, there was no competition among channels. It was NDTV which was the prime news channel. Therefore, they had the luxury of time, resources and budget. But the modern era is witnessing a drastic change in the format of broadcast journalism. Every news channel targets to bring their news story on air first which at times leads to compromising on accuracy and media ethics.

She talked about journalistic responsibilities and ethics by sharing several of her journalistic assignments, including the India-United States nuclear deal.  She advised SJMC students to not go by what the audience wants to see or hear but understand the primary duty of a journalist is to provide useful information. As a journalist, it’s our responsibility to provide accurate news to the audience. Therefore, one must learn not to become a mouthpiece of the government.

She also interacted with students and answered the queries they posed to her. She discussed many political crises, government plans, the Covid-19 pandemic, fake news and a few criminal case studies such as the deaths of Sushant Singh Rajput and Sidharth Shukla, during the session.

Professor Sanjay Ahirwal advised students to develop analytical instincts and learn to interpret news and development.  He advised students to read, write and listen as much as they can. “It’s time to read more and more, stay aware and watch the video clips and movies of the events occurring in the world,” he added.

Adjunct faculty member Seema Guha emphasised on learning to keep questioning in the journey of journalism.

Furthermore, Assistant Professor Baisakhi Dalapati and Associate Professor Sabiha Farhat hosted a quiz with the students which helped the budding communicators to self-evaluate their aptitude levels, by participating in the discussion sessions. It was fun estimating if the piece of news was fake or not! Also, students really enjoyed guessing the taglines of the famous advertisements.

In a nutshell, the orientation programme was successful in bridging the gap between the professors and the students, ensuring a smooth communication between the two.

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