From the award-winning investigative stories blowing the cover on sexual abuse in the Catholic Church by The Boston Globe’s Spotlight team to the only writer to have ever gone under cover in North Korea, from the dangers involved in reporting live at the frontline during wars to discussions with leading Indian media personalities, the 11th edition of ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival 2018 will have it all for those who wish to get a firsthand knowledge of journalistic and reportage writing.
Spotlight: The Hunt for Truthbrings forth the renowned Portuguese-American journalist Michael Rezendes who is a Pulitzer Prize award-winner for his investigative work as a member of The Boston Globe’s legendary Spotlight Team in conversation with Sreenivasan Jain where he speaks of the power of traditional and local reporting, the values, veracity and commitment required for investigative journalism as well as the changing definitions of news in the current media landscape.
In Undercover in North Korea: Facts and Fictions, Suki Kim, the South Korean author of the award-winning novel The Interpreter and the bestselling Without You There Is No Us: My Time with the Sons of North Korea’s Elite, speaks of her six-month undercover investigation embedded within North Korea in conversation with Michael Breen author of TheNew Koreans: The Story of a Nation, and talks of her rare encounter with the world’s most dangerous and unknowable country and of the privileged young men she calls ‘soldiers and slaves’.
The Frontline Club is a compelling session where Adrian Levy, Carlo Pizzati, Jeffrey Gettleman, Peter Bergen and Suki Kim in conversation with SuhasiniHaidar talk about how Hollywood has long glamourised the war journalist as a hard drinking chancer, taking extreme risks to get the big Pulitzer-winning front page spread. Witness some of the world’s most celebrated foreign correspondents lift the lid on one of the dangerous jobs in journalism, parsing myth from reality.
In Among the Insurgents with Cathy Scott-Clark, Michael Vatikiotis and Peter Bergen are in conversation with Charlie English as they discuss how in this age of terrorism and insurgency, it has never been more important to report accurately on the actions of those who take up arms against established governments. At the same time, never have journalists been in greater danger doing so, and how exactly does one report on resistance fighters who do this without acting as amplifiers for terrorists? The panel, who have studied and spent time with insurgent groups, will give their perspective on the practical and moral conundrums of covering insurgencies.
Manhunt: Pakistan and the Search for Bin Ladenwith Adrian Levy, Cathy Scott-Clark, Peter Bergen and T.C.A. Raghavan in conversation with Suhasini Haidar unpacks the extraordinary inside story of Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda in the years after 9/11. Following the attacks on the Twin Towers, bin Laden, the most wanted man in the world, eluded intelligence services and Special Forces units for almost a decade. Using remarkable, first-person testimony from his family and closest military aides, this session chronicles an astonishing tale of evasion, collusion and isolation by bringing together three of the world’s greatest experts on Bin Laden: Peter Bergen, author of Manhunt, who met and interviewed the man and later was the only journalist to gain access to bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound before the Pakistani government demolished it. In conversation with him are Adrian Levy and Cathy Scott-Clark, authors of The Exile, a landmark work of investigation and reportage and essential reading for anyone concerned with history, security and future relations with the Islamic world.
Closer to home, Rajasthan: BadalteMahaul Mein Media with FalguniBansal, L.P. Pant, Rajendra Bora, Vinod Bhardwaj and Yash Goyal discuss how the media in Rajasthan have always balanced a local and regional approach with a larger understanding of national and international issues. Rajasthan is India’s largest state in terms of size with an area that comprises approximately 10 percent of India’s landmass and borders with Pakistani Punjab and Sindh. The rich culture and vibrant tourism, the mix of cosmopolitan and traditional culture and the inhospitable terrain and remote rural populations are all a part of its living reality. A key session with Rajasthani media on the social, economic and political issues they report upon, across print and digital, television and radio channels.
Around the world, the media is seeking a balance between neutrality, objectivity, commitment and the search for truth. How does a post-truth era seek perspective and equivalence then? Is inherent bias inevitable? Can the media ever be truly impartial or is it only possible to ‘obtain the best attainable version of the truth’? On Balance: Journalistic Objectivity features Aditi Maheshwari Goyal, Rajeev Punnoli, Sudhir Chaudhary and Vineet Kumar in conversation with Shoma Chaudhury, a crucial session with journalists and editors across ideologies on the search for balance.