‘Paid silence worse than paid news’
Ace journalist and author Josy Joseph says political par-ties are rolling in black money
TRIVANDRUM: Sept. 25, 2016
Indian political parties need millions of rupees to win elections and they depend on black money to fill their coffers, said Josy Joseph, leading investigative journalist and author of the recently published A Feast of Vultures, a book that throws light on the ugly underbelly of Indian politics.
Speaking on the ‘Relevance of Investigative Journalism in a Corporatised Media Context at Swadeshabhimani Media Study Centre at Vakkom Moulavi Foundation Trust Hall at Thekkummoodu on Sunday, Joseph said that his book was just the tip of an iceberg. “The corruption in the political system is beyond our imagination,” he said.
It was the angst and the anger at the manifold levels of manipulation and corruption eating into the government systems that he had prompted him to do the kind of stories he has done. Joseph’s investigative sto-ries have brought to light widespread corruption in different sectors. “The widespread corruption in the government and administrative systems denies common man his or her rights, and it makes one angry and con-cerned about the future of one’s country,” added Joseph.
However, Joseph sounded optimistic about a potential youth movement that has been shaping up in different parts of the country. “India has a considerable population of youth and these youngsters are to play a crucial role if India has to get rid of the corruption maligning its systems.”
Joseph said the ‘paid silence’ was worse that ‘paid news’. “One of the reasons I wrote the book is the increasing number of stories not pub-lished in the newspapers I worked with.
Saying the he didn’t personally prefer to use spy camera to sting peo-ple, Joseph, however, added that technology would be helping investiga-tive journalism in a large way. “The combination of an indignant youth and revolutionary technology will help journalism, especially investi-gative journalism, said Joseph, 42.
A Feast of Vultures, published by HarperCollins, has already attracted attention and a few legal notices but Joseph said there was no dearth of stories in India. “It (the book) is just the beginning and I can’t wait to write another,” he added.
Swadeshabhimani Media Study Centre under Vakkom Moulavi Foundation Trust conducts fortnightly training in digital journalism.
Prof VK Damodharan, president, and AK Suhair, chairman, of Vakkom Mou-lavi Foundation Trust, Ram Kamal Manoj, journalist, and C Rahim, presi-dent, Kerala Union of Working Journalists, Thiruvananthapuram, also spoke at the function.