Prem Shankar Jha is a well known (traditional) journalist based in New Delhi, India. He mainly writes about politics and economics in India with a focus on globalization. His analytical and honestly balanced writings gave him more than once a hard time to survive in crucial positions within India’s newspaper landscape. Today he is working as a freelancer and writes frequently for Tehelka.com, one of the best sources of news in India – as The Guardian says.
I ran into Prem by coincidence. He stayed at Ken River Lodge, one of my most favorite places close to Khajuraho where I more or less live since March 2012. This is where the interview took place.
Luckily we’ve had the chance in further conversations to discuss journalistic values and approaches – mainly the differences between (traditional) journalism and citizen media. We talked about the Arab Spring in particular and reflected on the different point of views from the West and the East – way to often based upon interests instead of balanced reporting. The latter is undoubtfully needed to get the overall picture right, meaning to achieve objectivity in the reports. But how do you achieve this is an art form of itself. It requires definitely a lot of experience, empathy and willingness to “dig deep”.
For this I really would love to see a broader collaboration between well trained journalists and citizen media people – I have the feeling the potential which might emerge out of such a collaboration is huge. So please go for it!