Naval Revolt, Expose On Thalidomide: All In Game
Does anyone remember that a leader of the 1946 Naval revolt was a journalist (then in Navy) CP Ramachandran? A Kerala Leftist in the communist daily Patriot via political papers he had shifted, by the time I met him In ’70s,to Hindustan Times where he retired decades ago. Ín the words of a mutual friend he then “devoted himself to the local brew in a Kerala village till end came.”
Another journalistic involvement that made my profession proud was the editorial crusade run by Henry Evans against the drug thalidomide which, used on pregnant women. It resulted in the birth of several thousand babies with deformities.
Frances Oldham Kelsey, a pharmacologist with the Food & Drug Administration(FDA),USA, helped prevent birth of a generation of children born with congenital deformities in the United States In 1960s as the German Pharma firm that made it tried to enter the USA.
For a journalist, ‘covering’ of accidents and disasters, opening ceremonies or speeches is all in the game; just duty. Buh it is the one job where reporting tacts and social responsibility overlap; more so with modern electronic media of today.
When duty ends and responsibility begins is tor the jourñalist to decide. A photo journalist covering the Kenyan famine was called ‘the vulture behind the camera’ when he clicked a historic photo of a real vulture waiting near a starving child for it to die, even though he took the child to the nearest UN feeding centre. He was trolled so much that later he committed suicide.
It is therefore not unusual for a journalist to turn an activist and act, like setting up a disaster monitoring and documentation centre after Latur earthquake or NGO to promote representative democracy after covering parliament and four legislatures.
Having failed at both for not taking grants or donations I should know.