Saturday, February 24, 2007

A journalist extraordinaire

Sham Lal, who passed away yesterday, belonged to a different strand of journalism. He illustrated that journalism is not just about reporting news. Journalism, as a social subject of mass communication, is also a lot about the message, how it’s conceived, crafted, delivered and pondered over. It’s as much about the language as about the content. He was a great literary critic. Not many have combined so well literature and journalism. My first exposure to Sham Lal’s writings was when I used to go through The Times of India’s issues at the Trivandrum Press Club, while I was doing my MCJ in Kerala University. The column ‘Life and Letters’ was a must read. A collections of his pieces is available as ‘A Hundred Encounters’. There is something about his style that is addictive. International affairs is my favourite, and among the most memorable of his writings are on the collapse of the Soviet Union and East European countries. (Photo credit: The Hindu)

The Times of India paid tribute to this great journalist with a special Edit Page today: Homage to Sham Lal.
Leader article: Above the Fray by Dileep Padgaonkar
In a Jungle of Theories, by Sham Lal
Life of Letters, Tribute by Ian Jack, Editor, Granta

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