• Haein Shin

What does it take to be a journalist?

Updated: Apr 8, 2020

We had the pleasure of speaking with Mr. Subhajoy Roy of The Telegraph (Kolkata), who has been with this eastern India's largest circulated English daily for 10 years.

He covers stories on air quality issues; civic issues like waste management, water supply, health issues and road network as well as infrastructure (traffic planning and traffic management. He is currently covering COVID19 -related steps taken by the government and  state health department.

In the conversation, our Eco Ambassador participants asked about the nature of the job of a journalist - what skills and qualities are needed to be a journalist?

Along with sharing an advice he was once told-- that EMPATHY is the most important quality of a journalist-- he also shared with us a list of quotes, movies and books he found, that further reflects and illuminates a journalist's job (see below!)

Thank you Subhajoy Roy!

FULL INTERVIEW can be found @ https://youtu.be/0-DXDD6EtJU

QUOTES: (Gabriel Garcia) Marquez used to say that the journalist should be like a mosquito, which is there to irritate those in power, buzzing instantly. -Director of Colombian news website La Silla Vacia

I have learnt a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen. -Ernest Hemingway

Headline in a 2016 piece by Columbia Journalism Review: “The voicelss have voice. A journalist’s job is to amplify this”.  Source: https://www.cjr.org/first_person/buttry_story.php


All the President’s Men (1976) #Won multiple Oscars, Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations.  #The issue: Investigations by two reporters of The Washington Post unearthed facts and stories that led President Nixon of the United States to resign. One of the most defining moments of investigative journalism in history.  # The Washington Post won Pulitzer prize for public service in journalism in 1973.  SPOTLIGHT (2015) #Won Oscar for best picture in 2015.  # The issue: how investigation by The Boston Globe’s Spotlight department unearthed sexual abuse of childern by the Church.  # The newspaper won Pulitzer prize for public  service in 2003 KILLING FIELDS (1984)  #The film won 3 Oscars and 8 BAFTAs.  #The issue: how journalists reported the killing of people by a tyrranical regime in Cambodia.  PEEPLI LIVE (2010) #It is an Indian film in Hindi language. Look for a version with English subtitles.  # It is a critique of modern day media and political leadership.  # The story is how things unfold after farmer suicides in an Indian village.  How media landas there and how it covers the story.  READING LIST

ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN  #By Bob Woodword and Carl Bernstein, the two reporters whose work primarily led to president Nixon’s resignation. 1974 book, film in 1976.  GEORGE ORWELL’s essays for their prose. Read “Why I Write”. Orwell says “I write it because there is some lie that I want to expose, some fact to which I want to draw attention, and my initial concern is to get a hearing”.  JOHN HERSHEY’s “Hiroshima” on what happens after the atom bomb fell in Japan.  GABRIEL GARCIA MARQUEZ’s “The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor”. Marquez, who was a journalist, wrote 14 pieces for a newspaper. Only one sailor of the Columbian Navy ship survived. Marquez’s account revealed that the official version of a storm killing all but one sailors was false. The accounts were later published as the book.  Read on ROBERT FISK. A British journalist who interviewed Osama Bin Laden thrice. He has written on his experience of interviewing Laden. 

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