The last two months have been an eye-opener for a lot of people.
I am told that Bollywood segments of most TV channels are being re-evaluated in terms of cost and return on investment. Leading channels have scrapped numerous entertainment related shows. In some media houses across the country, entertainment journalists have been asked to clear out with their stuff from their work desks.
In the last three months, three of my close friends have lost their jobs. All are journalists. Two of them covered Bollywood as a beat. One of them is in Kolkata and two are from Mumbai.
For the past two days, two of them haven’t spoken to me and have gone into a shell. I managed to speak to the wife of one and she told me that they are busy packing because they won’t be able to afford it in Mumbai anymore. He is going back to his hometown where he can get support from his extended family.
I haven’t been able to get in touch with the other friend. His mobile phone was switched off ever since he was called into a room and asked to sign on a resignation letter in exchange of a cheque that contained his salary of three months minus the reimbursements.
I remember the days when all of them would call me at odd hours to tell me that they have ‘heard’ that their names are on the ‘list’.
Every time I would assure them that nothing bad would happen to them. I used to tell them to keep calm. I asked them to send their CVs to as many employers as they can.
I was so wrong.
Today, I have many such CVs in my mailbox and an uncertain future of entertainment journalism to stare at.
Being a journalist who specialises in Bollywood, I feel collectively we could have done better.
In the next few blog posts, I will try to find out what went wrong in entertainment journalism in the last few years.
Let us change ourselves before we are annihilated.
The image has been sourced from here.
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