Seasoned video journalist Rajesh Bhardwaj has come up with a book “Camera Ki Nazar Se”. With 23 years of experience in the field, Bhardwaj has covered Iraq war, insurgency in the Northeast and Gujarat earthquake. He was in Egypt when Arab Spring took root and was recently in Uttarakhand to capture the Nature’s fury. He claims he is the first video journalist from India to have penned his experiences. The inspiration came from fellow journalist Niranjana Bose while covering the story of the attack on Indian students in Australia.
Excerpts from an interview-
Do you think video journalists often don’t get their due?
This is a reality. There is a gap between a reporter and a cameraman. I don’t think this is ever going to shrink. Reporters get more importance and the public knows it. Slowly two-three channels have changed the trend as a cameraman is designated as video journalist now. Still, at the end of the day the public thinks this is a reporter’s story even if a cameraman has an experience of 20 years and the reporter is only two-year old in the profession.
How do you prepare yourself before going to cover events like the Egypt revolution, Arctic ash clouds….?
Actually, there is no time to prepare. Often, when we come to the office, we get a call that we have this assignment and have to cover it. The job of a journalist is similar to that of an army man. But the thing is army people get training but media persons in India have to learn on the job. I had covered a story in the Northeast called ‘hidden wars’. That was physically challenging for me as we used to trek 20-25 kilometres for 10 days. I cried on the third day and the reporter had even fainted. After coming back I joined a gym and started working out to counter such conditions.
What is the best thing about being a video journalist?
The advantage of being a video journalist is that he is an all-rounder. He can cover any assignment while a reporter is instilled only in one beat. Camera has almost become a part of my body.
How do you see the growth of private news channels?
I would like a point out that many news channels nowadays telecast useless news. Some Hindi news channels telecast comedy shows and some news of no importance. Issues like farmers’ suicide get far less importance.
The English version of the book is expected to come out this November.