It was a privilege having Mr. Sidhanta Patnaik, Senior Staff writer, Wisden India, address the students of Jain (Deemed-to-be University). He started off by explaining what it exactly means to be a ‘Cricket Journalist’ and a lot of important things around that. The sportsmanship inside everybody was ignited and this gave the students a sense of excitement and an anticipation of what Mr. Sidhanta was going to say next.
Mr. Sidhanta Patnaik clearly explained about his profession and what made him get into Cricket Journalism. This made all the students very curious on what it exactly takes to be in the profession and started asking a lot of questions which was answered very gracefully by Mr. Sidhanta Patnaik. The questions included everything related to cricket, cricket journalism, ways of writing, techniques for writing so on and so forth. It was a very interactive session with a lot of question & answers, fun and laughter.
Further ahead, Mr. Sidhanta Patnaik shared his greatest achievements where he covered Sanju Samson and Sarfaraz Khan’s stories before they were recognized at the international level. He explained how due to this coverage, he made a connection with both of them and had direct access to them. Mr. Sidhanta later connected this with the difference between a blogger and a journalist. He also encouraged the students to get in touch with a media house for internship and most importantly stressed on writing. He focused on how we ought to develop a critic’s point of view and that brevity is our friend in this fast-paced world where most of us don’t have the time to read a 500-word article.
Later in the session, Mr. Sidhanta also told the students his story of getting into cricket journalism. The story he shared had an emotional connect to it as everyone was on the edge of their seats listening with rapt attention.
Mr. Sidhanta Patnaik stated a lot of important facts to be kept in mind when getting into the world of cricket journalism. He mentioned how the social media plays a vital role in today’s world, with that, he stressed on building a relationship with the game which is extremely important. More than everything he insisted on developing love for writing and for the job we do. “The moment you press send, you get turned from a writer to a reader”, one of Mr. Sidhanta’s quotes which has left a strong impression on the students.
“Be a storyteller’, is something he kept reminding the students, for, journalism at the end of the day is telling a story to the readers through writing based on incidents.
The session ended with Mr. Sidhanta disclosing some secrets of his trade and how we can broaden our myopic view of any topic by researching more about it, discussing it and writing about it. Some of the students also shared their stories with everybody.