Who is a Jholay Patrakar:
Political party workers turned journalists/reporters/editors; typically carrying a bag (jhola and thus Jholay) and with the party’s hidden agenda and propaganda well tucked inside. Or, any journalist who seeks aspirations, benefits, blessings or favors in some sort/shape from the political parties.
In the recent years, Jholay Patrakar is also the one who carries “chosen” vested interests and certain “hidden agendas” of media houses, especially in the “big” private media organizations.
The trend of “Jholay Patrakar” and “Jholay Patrakarita (Jholay Journalism)” seems to have emerged after the democracy of 2046 BS in Nepal. Political parties unscrupulously made their cadres infiltrate the media houses. The government media suffered ghastly. For instance, with each change in government, many such Jholay Patrakars, representing various political parties, were able to position themselves inside Gorkhapatra, Nepal Television, Radio Nepal, RSS (National News Agency) – and operate for the benefits of the parties.
An example of Jholay Journalism:
The text below is a news text written by a reporter from RSS, the National News Agency.
MINISTER YADAV INAUGURATING ON ENVIRONMENT DAY
Lalitpur, June 5:
Minister for Forest and Soil Conservation Matrika Prasad Yadav said the government was set to provide Nagarjuna palace as a temporary residence to the former king Gyanedra Shah so as to remove him from the Narayanhiti palace.
Minister Yadav said so while speaking at a programme organized by National Trust for Nature Conservation to mark the World Environment Day here today.
It was not necessary to manage a residence to the former king as he is now an ordinary citizen, Minister Yadav opined, adding that the Nagarjuna palace was also for temporary period.
He further said that some forces were still busy in obstructing the route of Maoist progression through pretensions. Similarly, saying that conservation of the forest is impossible until the conversation of natural heritages, he viewed that forest mafias are still active to fulfill their petty desire.
On the occasion, Minister Yadav also gave way the prizes along with certificates to the winners in various games organized to mark the Day.
Member Secretary of the Trust, Bimal Kumar Baniya said people from all sectors should pay attention to nature conservation.
RSS, June 5 2008.
What will trouble any sane mind is the way the lead of the news article is started. It starts with the statement of the minister which is totally irrelevant with the purpose of the function, just said to “heat up” the crowd and the atmosphere.
Even though the occasion was the “World Environment Day 2008” and the program was being held predominantly among school students, teachers, and parents, our honorable Minister Yadav tactfully inserts a completely unrelated issue in his speech and then, our Jholay Patrakar follows it up by making the minister’s statement as the lead.
Also, in the above news text, there lacks a serious “editorial watchfulness” (along with some grammar mistakes: conversation and way instead of conservation and away).
Sadly, this type of “which minister said what” in the lead of the news articles is one of the most common practices we can see in any format – paper or electronic; government or private.
Journalists, many, are usually busy attending press meets, functions, tea-snacks parties and ceremonies. They are also involved in multitude of unions, organizations and NGOs – serving their self interests and agendas.
In this democratic age as well, unfortunately, the trend of “Jholay Journalism” is still a big part in both the government and private media houses.
“Free journalism and Free media” – concepts that look real on papers and declarations only!
Some pictures of the program: