02
Mar
07

Deccan Herald, February 25, 2007

    dhlogo.gifDeccan Herald went to town over Beyond the Newsroom and gave it a rave review. Here’s what the newspaper had to say:

    “A thriller that can be read at one go.”

    ‘Bad journalists’

    M K Chandra Bose

    The book reveals the underbelly of the media and is a good read for anyone interested in the news…

    Beyond the Newsroom

    By Oswald Pereira

    Frog Books

    Pages 255

    Rs 245.

    In the eighties when a coterie of reporters in Bangalore were acting as the drum beaters of a chief minister, some of their ilk in Bombay were dancing to the tunes of an underworld don.

    They included journalists from the lowly tabloids to the mighty national dailies. The unholy nexus between politicians and journalists has been written about but very little is known about the underworld clout with the fourth estate. Beyond the Newsroom fills this void.

    Truth is often stranger than fiction. Through this work of fiction, journalist Oswald Pereira manages to bring out the bitter truth of what goes behind the news– crime news in particular. It is the horror story of suppression and distortion of news to suit the needs of a mafia don. The don is Narayan Swamy, the semi-literate bootlegger -turned Bombay’s most dreaded crime lord who manipulates ministers, legislators, criminals, police officers, lawyers and journalists to do his dirty jobs.

    He has a special liking for journalists as he has found them to be ideal intermediaries.

    A handpicked triumvirate of journalists including a leading business writer acts as his eyes and ears. It is their job to alert him, to suppress unpalatable news, to intervene on his behalf at the right time and advise him on making his ill-gotten wealth white. Those on his payroll never fail him. His escape to Madras by hoodwinking a posse of 400 policemen makes big headlines.

    Not many of the interesting characters are fictitious. The Godfather is modelled on notorious Varadaraja Mudaliar who ruled the Bombay underworld with an iron hand. He built a multi-crore financial empire but wanted to turn over a new leaf. Some of the politicians and the super cop on the don’s trail are easily identifiable. One of the crony journalists has shades of a scribe who writes on Bombay underworld.

    It is a thriller which can be read at one go. As a novel Beyond the Newsroom is a modest success. It is more like investigative journalism at its best but won’t find a place in any newspaper. The harsh truths tumbling out are severe indictments of a noble profession debauched by unscrupulous scribes.

    What appears as a scoop is often a plant by some vested interests to serve their ends. Often the reader won’t get the real news as there are journalists willing to hide it for a few pegs of Scotch. Pereira’s expose on the dirty deeds of some black sheep is a timely reminder when the Indian media scene is witnessing a churning process. The book will be of interest to every one who cares for news.

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7 Responses to “Deccan Herald, February 25, 2007”


  1. 1 Reena
    March 11, 2007 at 8:00 am

    I spent 18 years as a journalist. I loved the descriptions of the journalists (some of them seemed so real) and of the Bombay Press Club.

  2. 2 Ashok
    March 12, 2007 at 11:32 am

    I read the book in one go. It was very interesting in terms of story and characters. The question is: If this really happens in the journalistic world, why do scribes act so holier-than-thou?

  3. 3 Surekha Tambwekar
    April 18, 2007 at 11:40 am

    This is a great book. But it’s more than a crime thriller. I don’t know why the publisher is projecting it as such. According to my humble understanding, it should rightly be called a social expose, rather than a mere crime thriller.

  4. 4 Rohit Sabharwal
    April 18, 2007 at 11:59 am

    Fantastic. It leaves a deep and lasting impression. Couldn’t be nearer to the truth. As a top manager, I’ve dealt with scribes and what the book says is absolutely true. Hat’s off to the writer who is said to be from the journalistic fraternity himself.

  5. 5 Shilpi Narula
    April 19, 2007 at 4:36 am

    Very good book indeed! Fast-paced and well-written. I very strongly believe that corruption be it among the media or the police or the government, or wherever else must in no case be tolerated. It was very bold of the author to have written the book and the publisher to have agreed to publish the novel.

  6. 6 noor mohd
    May 22, 2007 at 6:55 am

    In his maiden novel, Mr. Oswald Prereira has dared to expose the ugly side of the profession he belongs to . I would admire his honesty and courage to tell the truth despite the risks of sounding politically incorrect in his professional community.

  7. 7 Kevin monteath
    May 22, 2007 at 8:43 am

    THERE ARE TIMES WHEN I DISREGARD THE SITUATION TO SIT A READ A NOVEL, BASICALLY I DO READ PERIODICALLY BUT IT HAS TO BE SOMETHING EXTRA ORDINARY, THIS BOOK BY OSWALD PEREIRA IS LIKE WATCHING ONE OF THOSE HIGH END HOLLYWOOD MOVIES.COME TO THINK OF IT,ITS NO FICTION ATALL.

    IF WE DID HAVE THE CURRENT TV MEDIA COVERAGE IN THE YEARS GONEBY,THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN A GREAT EXPOSER FOR THE BETTERMENT OF THE NATION, ITS NEVER TO LATE. GREAT READING TO ALL WHO HAVE NOT.CONGRATULATIONS TO THE AUTHOR.


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