“Good talents need to be paid”
“The standard of Malayalam media is deteriorating as owners are not paying fairly good salary to the talented journalists”, says Dr. Babu Gopalakrishnan, Director of C-DIT. Babu was chatting with students at his Alma mater, the Kerala University Dept of Communication and Journalism.
Babu says media should hike the pay structure of really talented journalists if they want to maintain high standard in the organization. “The condition of media people in Kerala is very poor when compared to other states. Now a days, it is impossible to make a living with an amount of Rs. 5000/- per month. Thus good talents never come forward to work in Kerala and only sub standards hang on. And it is one of the reasons why students opt to go for teaching after completing journalism courses. Media should be ready to give journalists their demands for their effort and service to the organization”.
Mr.Babu Gopalakrishnan started his career as a journalist in Malayala Manorama and was with ‘The Observer’, Delhi. After resigning the job with Observer, he joined as vice chairman of Kerala Film Academy. He completed masters in Journalism from the University of Kerala and did his M.Phil and PhD from JNU. The activities regarding college magazine brought the journalistic talent in him to the prime line, making him realize that a journalist has more to do for the society. “Journalists are not getting freedom in their profession, even to the level of an editor in a college magazine” observes Babu who unhesitatingly declares that he ended up his journalistic career in bitter disappointment due to these factors.
“Journalism is now a business. It has no credibility and almost all are ghost writers for their editors”. Babu has his own examples and experience to prove this. Another painful side of current journalism is that new generation is not taking pains to prove themselves. Journalism is not seen as a passion by them as it was in the 80s. All these makes me depressed, he says.
He shows no reluctance to express what he felt about Kerala’s politics too. Babu is of the view that leaders like V.S. Achuthanandan are personalities who had not been covered well by Malayalam journalists in the right sense. ‘And no doubt it is because the journalists don’t have the caliber for it’, he says.
Babu, who holds a PhD in cenema has definite views on how Malayalam film industry moves on. “The Whole thing is controlled by superstars”, he says. This heroic intrusion is seen in all the sectors of industry. So good films don’t get its own space. The film ‘Aadaminte makan Abu’ became noted only after it had won National Award. This tendency should be changed’.
When asked about the entertainment films attempted by a few, he simply says he is not to make any comments on that. According to him there is no other society which shows this much of hypocrisy in literature, art and film. We, Malayalis never welcome scantly clad actors and sex scenes in cinema, but films which are categorized as ‘blue’ are the ones that are most screened in our state. This contradiction is really terrible. Babu further observes that there is a dearth of serious film reading among the cinephiles of the state. The 10 days of film festival should be followed up by similar activities rather than pulling down the curtain till next year.
Dr. Babu aims to turn C-DIT into a national institute. He is hopeful about a bright future.