‘Government Can Control You But They Can’t Control Social Media’: Akash Banerjee At Talk Journalism

Political Satire by Akash Banerjee at Talk Journalism.

Jaipur, 11 August 2018 — Political Satire is about laughing at politicians. In a country where political activists can easily take offence, and file police complaints or indulge in violence, political satirists tread a very thin line. One of the more prolific satirists in India is Akash Banerjee, whose show on YouTube, #WhySoSerious pokes fun at our politicians. He was at Talk Journalism 2018, sharing his views on political satire, digital platforms, and being independent. 

Banerjee claims that the most watched of news shows in the USA are political satire, and those who do political satire are more known than news anchors. He said that the type of content that he creates will not be accepted by TV channels in India, but that format of political satire is more welcome in western countries.

He mentioned that Netflix is watched more than TV. People will definitely pay for good content. He said that “We basically need standard form of journalism with simplified & deeper solutions, we should appreciate the changing model.

Banerjee suggested that instead of working with news channels, budding journalists should try be a “personal financed journalist.”

“Just get a mic, phone and you’re ready. Nowadays we see many YouTubers who run YouTube channels that are news related and they succeed, you should try that too. If you follow the truth people will follow you,” he said. On television people forget you fast. But in digital media they don’t easily forget you. Because the content stays forever, he added.

While talking about threats from people who do not like his content he said: “Government can control you but they can’t control social media.”

“Don’t have opinion until you have facts, everyone has opinion but facts are valid in the end. Also if you’re entering this field, as a journalist, YouTuber, blogger, you have to be shameless to ask for interviews, follows, subscribers, likes,” he said.

In the end he said “Don’t try to change the world, you will end up frustrated. Instead update yourself and be independent.”

Text:  Rucha Kanolkar | Copy Edit: Rucha Kanolkar  | Photography: Rucha Kanolkar | Photo desk: Anu Sonia |Editorial coordination: Jyoti Mamnani

The report was filed during live newsroom workshop conducted by Institute of Integrated Digital journalism and Mass Communication(IIDJM)