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Reporter's Diary: That one phone call which can make or 'break'

08-October-2011
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Reporter's Diary: That one phone call which can make or 'break'

From the last time i filed my piece for the Reporter’s Diary section, things have gotten incredibly busy. And, i don’t use the word ‘incredibly’ loosely. There is such a blurring of personal and professional lines that it doesn’t come as a surprise anymore if i have to take work home almost everyday or get a call on holidays asking for a story. My guilty glances are reserved for my parents who glare darkly that another holiday will filter away with me continuously making calls and typing away on my laptop and them mindlessly flipping through channels on the TV. However, at the end of the day, when you see your story up, the feeling is incredible. So, the word works both ways.

On the work front, the biggest break this week came with the news of Heineken awarding their digital duties to 22feet. As is usual with the job, for all stories that have been pending, everyday calls have to be made to the respective sources to find out the status. One such call resulted in an exclusive. No words can come close to describing the feeling of seeing your story, right on top in the news line, with ‘New’ winking long with the headline, coaxing viewers to click it and get the advantage of having a piece of information handed over exclusively to them merely by virtue of visiting our site. The second was getting the news of the INS’ new executive committee, which was up first on exchange4media. Meeting the stalwarts of the print industry – Hormusji Cama, Tilak Kumar, Ashish Bagga, among others – is something that you can never be quite prepared for. So many eminent people you never thought you’d ever get to meet, standing a few feet away as a horde, unaware that a full-fledged journalist is gawking in awe, waiting merely to exchange a business card.

Another blessing, actually, make that two, which you begin to appreciate is the fact that a story put up on the web doesn’t restrict you with a word count. You can write a story that runs to three pages or as short as a para. The second is that errors can be rectified (no excuse for their having arisen in the first place). But mostly, i have come to love, respect, and appreciate two people in the organisation whom i interact with on a daily basis, only over the phone since we are separated by more than 2,000 km – Joint Deputy Editor Shanta Saikia and Assistant Editor Shree Lahiri. Shanta is an inexhaustible reservoir of patience and energy. A constant barrage of calls from my end and all she has at the end of it is a smile and an unruffled countenance. Shree never raises her voice, come what may. She patiently gives briefs and guidelines. Not many can boast of meeting great people at work.

For my last line, only one thought that can be justly warranted to take up space – iRP Steve Jobs (courtesy Diogeneb, Twitter). Too hard to write that the right way. Even on his passing, he gave us a way to put that down.

(Notice something odd in the text? Yes, the i is in lower case – my humble tribute to the man who gave us iMac, iPhone, iPod, iPad…)
 

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