When I began my career as a journalist, I'd often heard people tell me that they had a very bad impression of scribes, what with the lack of social accountability hitting media across the board (I mean print, online and television) and sensationalism gaining in coverage space, albeit less than glossy advertisements.
People would say, "Oh you're a journalist! वो तो खाऊ पियू लोग होते हैं !" (They're interested in eating and drinking only)....elaborating further, "कहीं भी बुला लो उन्हें, सीधे snacks के काउंटर पे पहुँच जाते हैं !" (Call them to cover an event and you will find them on the snack counter for sure.)
One fellow went to the extent of saying that I had a rather easy job. "What do you have to do? Come to an event, eat and drink and take the Press Release back to print the news!!!!!"
Sometimes I would be aghast at the accusations. Sometimes I would just smile and be glad that I didn't fall in that category. I never bothered offering anyone an explanation because I did notice most scribes doing what I'd heard...eating and drinking at events, at times snoozing at events too, comfortable in the knowledge that the Press Release will have all relevant details.
But..these words affected me. I would always be careful to decline coffee or tea, or the samosas or sandwiches at events. I would eat before I left home and would make it a point to keep a pack of chips handy if I missed a meal. Refusing the beverage or the snack, I would beam inwardly at my self control.
I went out to cover an event today at 230pm. Ideally I should have had lunch before I left, but I'd had a late breakfast and wasn't keen on lunch. Dashed out of the door and went to the venue.
By 430pm I was ravenous. I was on the third floor of a building and could not possibly go down to look for a pack of biscuits or chips. Then, the meeting broke and snacks were served. Sandwiches and coffee.
Needless to say, I was the only one who gorged on two sandwiches! Even as I dipped the sandwich into ketchup, it struck me like a bolt from blue... The reason why scribes are always seen snacking during events, is because the poor souls are on the field from morning to late nights and do not have the time for a decent meal!
Today, I joined my tribe and have officially begun behaving like the scribe I aim to be!!!