It is weird. Some weeks ago, on the back of a column I did for Mint about Rajat Gupta, a journalist from Bloomberg/Businessweek called me. He sounded like my (very funny) cousin in Washington D.C. so I kinda took to him immediately even though we had never met. He wanted to interview me about what I had written about Rajat Gupta. We talked for say 20 minutes. And now I find myself being quoted in several articles on Rajat Gupta. It isn’t a particularly nice feeling because some of the quotes have been taken out of context. One in particular, which appeared in a story that made it to Mint’s front page, made me wince. It says that I was an acquaintance of Rajat Gupta, which I am not. My quote was pretty sappy too, something about him being “chatty.” I don’t want to put any other journalist in trouble, but my recollection of our conversation is that Bloomberg was after a description of what Rajat Gupta was doing in the Bangalore IPL cricket match where I happened to be. So the questions were like, “What was he doing?” and Was he relaxed and “Was he talking to people?” and I am sure I said something like “Yeah, he seemed pretty relaxed.” and “Yeah, he was chatty.” All of which I understand, having “slotted” certain quotes in certain “locations” in a story; and also having asked sources leading questions to get that particular quote. But it is strange to be on the other side of an interview.
Being at the other side of the firing line
About the Author: Shoba Narayan
Shoba Narayan is an author, journalist and columnist. Besides writing, she is interested in nature, wine, gadgets and Sanskrit. Her lifelong mission is to get fit without exercising and lose weight without dieting.
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