Faridoon Shahryar's Blog

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Heroine Promo Triggers Debate On Star-Journo Relationship

"Mumbai Daily ki associate editor ho tum. Film stars ki friendship tumse nahin, tumhaari position se hai," says Kareena Kapoor in the first look poster of Heroine. Well, I totally agree with this statement. Stars like star-struck journos who'd write or say nice nice stuff about them. Many a times, all it takes is a free flow of liqour and good food for journos to pour heartfelt niceties. A few kind words from a star and he/she becomes epitome of kindness. There's a famous dialogue...."Ek ladka aur ek ladki kabhi dost nahin hote", on the same note, a film star or a journo or for that matter, a politician (or any other profession) should never be 'friends' with the media. The objectivity gets diluted the moment 'emotions' take over.

Film stars are at their friendliest best whenever their film is up for release. They and their publicists go into hiding whenever they don't wish to talk (it is not the norm with everyone but mostly this is how it pans out). Recently the publicist of a two film old star (known for his philandering ways) approached me, stating that he wants to thank his fans in our interview for wishing him on his birthday and that he doesn't want to talk about anything else. I politely told the publicist that when the star is willing to talk in general, we'll do the interview as we don't do stuff as per a star's whims and fancies (his second film didn't work and he had thanked me profusely when we did his interview before he became a 'star' but things 'change' and how).

Yes film stars and film people in general try-n-'befriend' journos because of their 'position' and 'reach' as the Heroine promo states. There have been occasions when stars have approached us for clearing out rumours about their crumbling marriages or nasty lobbying against them within the film industry. But if we approach them for a byte on independence day, they become conveniently 'busy' (even though they are seen anywhere and everywhere). Many a times, stars crib about the rumours with regards to their personal life. But the fact is that many a times stars themselves spread rumours about their affairs and 'relationships' just to remain in news or it is part of the publicity plan for an upcoming film. Yes, accurate reporting is unheard of, many a times quotes are carelessly distorted to give a meaning completely different from what it is meant to be and then there are vested interests within the publicity machinery of a star that plants stories (based on 'sources') about rival camps.

Whenever I am invited for the success bash of a film or any random parties, I always politely decline. If you are part of their parties, they'll expect you to be of some 'use' later and that's not how it should be. I don't drink alcohol and I prefer eating food at home after an event (I rarely go for events anyways). Some stars are genuinely respectful and value integrity and they earn automatic respect. Mr Bachchan sent a thank you note duly signed by him after the success of 'Paa'. His letter is the pride of my office wall.

I've always maintained that I don't want to be 'friends' with a star. I'd be happy if they respect me and know that if I am asking tough questions in my interviews then it is not coming from a personal space but it is based on the questions that the audience wants to ask. There have been occasions when I am expected to ask questions only about the 'subject' that the star and his team wants to talk about. I find it boring but I always take my chances and try and ask a few topical questions as well that the audience may be interested in.

Then there are journos who are 'struggling' in the film industry and they are a pitiable lot for they have 'use me' written all over them. They can only say good things, ask all the 'right' questions and denounce the industry folks of their godfather's rival camp hoping to get rewarded some day.

I am sure Heroine promo will trigger a debate on how the stars detest the media and yet use them as per their convenience. Film journalism on its part needs to iron out their follies. The fact is there are a huge number of people who follow film based content and there's no harm if there's more transparency, accuracy, emphasis-on-facts and 'distance'.
Sent on my BlackBerry® from Vodafone


  1. Apparently in some cases the door swings both ways. Myself as a consumer tends to believe half of what i hear..some of what i see and all of what i read ..people are fickle in what they want to know...being fed what they have built in the fantasy of fandom.
    But you my friend are an honorable man. I think I can safely say that and many would vouch for you by your work..Well done.

  2. Great post Faridoon i always wondered why some journalist never write a single bad word or criticism of certain stars but you Faridoon is what a true journalist is report for the people and the fans no other agenda. Hats off to you

  3. Thanks Celeste, Margaret and Iftu...glad you liked this post


  4. Nice post Faridoon! Have always enjoyed your blogs and interviews...as they are honest and u say/write what you feel. So agree with Iftu, u are a true journalist :-)
    Have a great weekend! :D

  5. nice post mr faridoon.. bt wat abt the website you work for.. doesnt it pimp star and unconditionally support movies they hv tie-up with.. and what abt mr taran adarsh who is close frend with certain big wigs and results in rather generous stars in the reviews.. no point about that ?