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Thursday, July 5, 2007

US consulate emerges as the "editor"

Generally it is the editor of a newspaper who decides what should or should not be covered and who should and should not cover such and such incident. Editor's word is the final in a newspaper set-up. But the US consulate in Chennai donned the role of an editor when it came to who should or should not cover the TANA conferences in the USA.

A large number of Telugu journalists had applied for visas to cover TANA meetings. When they attended the interviews, the officials responsible for issuance of visas put a number of queries before the journalists. They asked why the journalists were seeking visas. When a journalist told the American consulate officials that he was going to the US for "coverage" of TANA news, he was curtly told that "he need not", sources point out.

Another journalist also got the same reply. He was told "not necessary". The US officials have every right to deny or grant visas. But now they also seem to decide who should or should not cover, ala editors.

A Telugu journalist opted for interview in English, instead of Telugu. He could not get the visa for the simple reason that he could not understand what the official was saying and vice versa.

And this explains why there were so little number of Telugu journalists from Andhra Pradesh at the TANA meet this time.

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