Director General of Indian Institute of Mass Communication K.G.Suresh shed light on various issues surrounding role of media in a state like Jammu and Kashmir in a Candid Interview with U4UVoice.
Q1. What is the present status of IIMC Jammu’s Permanent Campus Construction?
We are fast tracking it. Construction of a campus for a long term vision takes time. It’s not one building. It’s an entire campus. Hostels, Mess etc all would be there. I think it would take 2-3 years of time. I don’t see it getting completed in the present tenure of mine. If I get another tenure then I would definitely establish it as soon as possible.
Q2. How you entered journalism?
Well I always wanted to be a journalist. I got into journalism because I liked writing. Since childhood, I used to send letters to the editor. It was a passion for me. My father wanted me to become a civil servant but it’s an irony that I finally turned into one. I am a self made person. I worked hard and did hard-core reporting. I started working as a journalist in my graduation days. I used to work for a part time magazine and in the Evening News section of Hindustan Times. I used to contribute articles, take interviews. We learnt it the hard way. Before joining IIMC, I was a hard core journalist. I have not only been a print journalist but television, online and corporate communication apart from being media teacher and administrator.
Q3. Are you the future Prime Minister’s Media Advisor?
I am not looking at those things. The present PM doesn’t have any such such portfolio. I focus only on present. You see I was earlier working with Doordarshan as it’s editor when I got this job. So whatever responsibility I get, I do it to my best of my abilities. I believe if you work hard, things will fall in line. You don’t have to pursue things then, things will pursue you.
Q4. Future of Print Media?
Global scenario, Yes but not in India. Growing literacy rate and in a country where people see newspapers as a medium of empowerment with tremendous growth in regional and rural areas. Multiple Editions are coming and newspapers are damn cheap. They come with a resale value as well so all these factors have made the Indian media not very grim.
Q5. With respect to objective journalism in Jammu and Kashmir, as compared to rest of India, what do you see?
Well let us not differentiate the state with India. Jammu is a different region and Kashmir is completely a different region. Kashmir is different from other parts from India as only locals from the region represent the press scene only. It is not a cosmopolitan presence in kashmiri media. There has to be integration. I hope more positive news from Kashmir come in. It’s not the stone-pelters only. More positive news should come up. National media should focus on positive news. There is much more than stone pelting in Kashmir.
Q6. While covering in Jammu Kashmir, what was the most difficult situation?
There were two-three such occasions,. One incident when I was travelling From Uri to Baramullah, an IED bomb was detected by my driver in the road. Fortunately the driver saw through and the BSF team was called who diffused the bomb. It was a close encounter.
Once I had a meeting with underground leaders of a terrorist group Al-Badr. Then I did a series of stories on how some fractions of the then ruling party had harboured terrorists and helping them. The then Chief Minister also held a press conference and attacked me but my organization stood by me. I also wrote a lot in changing trends in militancy over the years. The trend that terrorists turning stylish and taking up jeans was also focused by me.
Interview By: Debdeep Mukherjee