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BookChums @ Book Launch: Newsroom Mafia by Oswald Pereira

Post by: Snehith Kumbla


It was on an overcast evening that the Pune launch of Newsroom Mafia by Oswald Pereira was held on June 8, 2012 at Crossword, Senapati Bapat Road. Sprinkled with humour and a lively discussion on newspapers, the nexus of paid news, and why what we read every day in the papers may not be true. Apart from Pereira, who is a veteran-journalist-turned-novelist, writers Sonja Chandrachud, Ismita Tandon Dharker and Kailash Srinivasan were part of the panel who discussed the issues raised by the book. Newsroom Mafia is the first novel by the author and highlights the relation between the underworld and the media.



Pereira’s ready humour was on display when he said that journalists would do anything. He said thatWe won’t murder for an exclusive story, in reply to a question from Dharker. Chandrachud cited the legal connection of her family and narrated a couple of real–life cases that illustrated the ambiguity in which cases are handled in India. Why did Pereira take so long to publish his debut novel? As he explained, he found it practical to do so after the end of a journalistic career to avoid any complexities, accusations of allegedly mixing fact and fiction.



In another instance, Pereira said, “Why should people believe what they read in newspapers? I think readers should ask these questions?” In answer to one of the panel and audience queries, he quoted from the book, “The price for writing a story is high. The price for not writing a story is higher.” Kailash Srinivasan also posed questions and there were interesting responses from the audience, of which senior journalists were also a part of.



It was in this atmosphere of thought and discussion that the book launch session concluded.                   

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