Media Crosses Their Lines To Create Headlines

Ayodhya Prasad Gaur speaks about his book Chautha Dhandha: Kisse Journalism Ke and the business of headlines.


by Shivam Singh

Jaipur, 10 August, 2018 – Journalist Ayodhya Prasad Gaur spoke about how headlines are driving increased news consumption in modern India. While reciting stories from his book ‘Chautha Dhandha – Kisse Journalism Ke’ today, at the Talk Journalism event in Jaipur, Ayodhya Prasad Gaur said that,“Jakham Tab tak Khuredo jabtak uss se khoon nahi nikalta” – journalists pick at a scab till it bleeds, while referring to a famine story he covered as a reporter. The compilation of stories, are based on real life incidents, but semi fictionalised.

He gave another example of the on ground reportage of Actor Salman Khan during the blackbuck shooting incident in Jodhpur. The cameraman at that point refused to cover the incident, because there were just a handful of people at the location. The locals reacted by tearing posters of Salman Khan, and blocking the main road. This created a huge crowd leading to inconvenience for the local people. Gaur, said, this is what he did as a reporter to create a headline. He recounted the time when a commercial sex worker, Alisha, told him that “You are a bigger dhandebaaz than us”.

These stories are a part of his book Chautha Dhandha which speaks about journalism considered the fourth pillar of democracy, is now being run as a business.  He agreed that the news does not sell without a catchy headline and hence it’s become a mandatory practice. Mr. Gaur also mentioned that the worse a story is, better it sells.

Desk: Vaidehi Gangan (copy edit), Jyoti Mamnani (editorial coordination)

This report was filed during Live Newsroom workshop conducted by Institute of Integrated Digital Journalism and Mass Communication (IIDJM) at Talk Journalism 2018.

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