On a brisk Tuesday morning in the hustle and bustle of Mumbai city, I find myself in a local café bustling with journalists. Among the myriad of conversations and clatter of typewriters, I notice a fervor of excitement and passion, a testament to the vibrant culture of journalism in India.
The place is no ordinary café. Known as the “Journalists’ Inn,” it has become a local hub for reporters and anchors to gather, share opinions, and discuss stories. Walls decorated with cuttings from the Indian Express and The Hindu reflects the relentless pursuit of truth that echoes in the principles of Indian journalism.
One peculiar aspect that strikes me about the place was the large world map hanging on the wall. It showcased clippings of articles from across the globe, with strings connected to the places of their origin, fostering an interconnected view of the world. As a testament to the global influence of Indian journalism, it displayed articles in diverse languages, including Hindi, English, Bengali, and Punjabi.
I strike up a conversation with Ravi, a senior journalist from the Times of India. A cup of steaming chai in his hand and a sparkle in his eye, he tells me about how culture influences the storytelling process in Indian journalism.
“We are a country of stories,” he says, “Our culture, rich with mythology and oral traditions, influences the way we communicate and narrate news. Our news reports often include snippets of local culture, folktales, and idioms, to make the story relatable and engaging for the readers.”
He points out that the portrayal of culture in journalism is not just confined to written articles, but also reflected in the visual representation. Illustrated art, satirical cartoons, and photos often include cultural elements. Whether it’s the vibrant colors of Holi in a travel piece or the subtle references to Bollywood in political satire, culture seeps into every aspect of journalism.
I shift my attention to a group of young reporters, huddled over a laptop. They are working on a multimedia presentation about Mumbai’s iconic street food culture. Through their work, they aim to capture the city’s spirit, the vendors’ resilience in the face of adversity, and the unique flavors that define Mumbai.
What strikes me most is how culture and journalism intertwine in India. It’s not just about communicating facts but creating stories that resonate with readers’ cultural context. The culture finds its way not just through explicit references but through the subtle undertones, the nuances of language, and the style of narration.
The culture in Indian journalism is an extraordinary blend of tradition and modernity, of history and progress. And as I leave the café, I carry with me not just the aroma of the hot chai but also the vibrant stories and the profound insights about the role of culture in journalism. As I walk into the swarm of people rushing towards their daily routine, I realize that every corner, every face, every moment here is a story waiting to be told. And within these stories lies the essence of culture, the heart of journalism.