Gujarat Media Club is entering 10th year this year. Started with much fanfare in 2006, the Club is facing identity crisis. Except some annual activities like Navratri festival and IOC-GMC cricket tournament which are sponsored there is hardly anything it can boast of.
Even in these events, lack of interest of members is evident and team of office bearers has to make efforts to save its face and thus have sponsorship live. These two activities were started in the initial phase.
Though the Club started Media Awards with ONGC funds two years ago, it has failed to attract good number of entries. It has Hindi and Gujarati categories also and the amount of the award is quite handsome. In this case, more than members apathy, it is the routine bureaucratic approach of the team GMC that has led to award on ventilator situation.
I have been associated with the Club from its formation days. I have seen the initial enthusiasm of its members fading away in the years that have witnessed both internal and external politics involving other journalists (non-members, more powerful than the might of a club which got 100 members in its first year).
No doubt there were bright patches also. But it is a fact that knocking the door of the tenth year, the Club with deposits of lakhs of rupees to its credit is an organisation in search of its soul.
The problem with the Club is of the identity crisis. For media in Ahmedabad it is a club of English journalists (I do not want to use the phrase generally used to express this) Within the Club no one knows what Club stands for, whom it represents and what it should do.
This month club is going to have its elections. A formal announcement of election was made today. Till now, elections have been a formal exercise as only last year two or three had come out to contest. They were ultimately declared elected uncontested.
I am producing an article which I had written on its launch.
A lot has changed since then.
Here is an article Gujarat Global had on the launch of the Club last year.
Gujarat Media Club, a club of journalists associated with all forms of media has been launched. Moving spirit behind the idea R K Misra of Pioneer( he is very much in profession, but not with Pioneer) said that the club on the lines of press clubs elsewhere in the country has been registered under section 25 of the Companies Act to make the organization accountable and transparent.
Several attempts have been made in the past to run a press club, but all failed in initial stages. In this sense, the media club can be called a successful innovation that is all set to click with its novel approach. Besides Misra, the promoters of the club are Brajesh kumar Singh of STAR News and Sunil Raghu of CNBC( he is now with other banner)
Highlighting its various unique features its promoters said that as the word media reflects that the club represents journalists associated with the entire media, not just print media. The idea is to have a club to provide journalists better resources for their professional work, aspirant journalists to have a place to get better idea of the profession and to help veteran journalists since there is no social security concept in the media, Brajesh Kumar Singh said.
It has regular members, life members and associate members and has enough scope for others associated with media like PR and advertising professionals, government media and corporate members. There is an elaborate fee structure for different categories. The Club will undertake research and training activities besides content generation to make itself an independent income generating organization, according to Sunil Raghu.
Sanjay Pandey of Crisil Marketwire who is the secretary of the Club finds response of journalists to the club very encouraging. He said that to really do groundwork to create an edifice of working journalists in the state as many as 11 committees will be formed to take care of different jobs ranging from membership drive to disciplinary committee. Sanjay has been doing one of the most challenging job of coordinating different people.
He said that the concept of committees is quite innovative in the sense that people are being asked to volunteer for the post of convener of the committee and these conveners will be free to choose their team. The idea is to provide committees an environment to deliver result. We should have a team of dedicated office bearers who are willing to slog for two years to create strong foundation of the Club so that it can withstand all kind of pressures.
The treasurer of the Club, Rammani Pandey of Star, said that before the formal announcement of the launch on Saturday, the club had 14 life members who paid money. On the day of the launch 15 more life and regular members bought forms. He said that there were many queries from several journalists and their interest reflected their enthusiasm to join.
President of the club R K Misra clarified that initially the activities of the Club will be limited to Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar and later gradually it will have a state level network. He also made it clear that the present body has been nominated for two years in the interest of the growth of the organization and after that regular election will be held.
The club has also launched its website which will be developed as a full fledged channel for different activities. Members will have access to its database.
Lets wish that the 10th year of the Club proves a milestone and give it right identity.