March 30th, 2019.Society Hall. Kripa Sindhu Tiwari is one of the doyens of contemporary crime reporting. Having worked in some of the most revered publication houses both in the regional and the national levels, he is widely admired for both his analytical skills and his keen understanding of the criminal mindsets, apart from his deep knowledge about the relevant laws. A member of the Indian Federation of Working Journalists (IFWJ), he is also the General Secretary of the Jharkhand Journalists Association (JJA). With an enviable record of being right on print an overwhelming ninety-nine point six percent of the cases he has commented upon, he is a kind of a legend in his domain and it was but natural that the students of BESC would troop in to hear him talk about criminal reporting. What added to the din was the presence of twenty-seven students and members of accompanying faculty from the Rajiv Gandhi University, Arunachal Pradesh, who attended the seminar.
The speaker talked at length laying bare the exciting and often scaring, even murky world of crime reporting interspersing his narrative with actual case histories and incidents from his long and illustrious career that had ensured him being there, seeing it all. However, what was particularly interesting to the audience, which had many wanna-be journalists, was the comprehensive list of do’s and don’ts that he laid out for their consumption. Speaking from experience, the faculty talked about the ground rules – the lines from within which the protagonists mostly work, also making it a point to explain the situations where journalistic inquisitiveness and the loyalty to the profession demands that such lines are breached for the unraveling of the greater truth. It was also pointed out in the same breath, that the breaking of the ground rules generally attract retribution, often violent, and explained the precautions that have to be taken in case such retaliatory action is apprehended.
The most interesting part of the seminar was however the interactive session when the speaker opened the session to the floor and took questions from the students. Prof Minakshi Chaturvedi, an accomplished lawyer quizzed the speaker on a number of issues that related to the laws and the ethicalities involved in crime reporting – her most strident query addressing the practice that is being widely termed as the “trial by media”.
Students from both the BESC and the RGU inundated the speaker with questions which were all answered providing them with a nuanced look at the world of journalism in general and the crime beat in particular.
Prof Dilip Shah, the dean of student affairs of the BESC felicitated the speaker and wrapped up the seminar with a few words – his take on the exciting world of crime reporting.
(This report has been filed by Ashna Saini with camera person Vishal Dhall of the Expressions collective of the BESC.)