We get to read in the papers about Mr K S Ashwath’s ill health whenever a visiting film artiste or Kannada cinema notable calls on the 270-film veteran at his Saraswathipuram residence. As someone who has worked in the media I can understand that the fact of Mr Ashwath’s ailment, which has been reported many times earlier, no longer makes news. And we shouldn’t grudge our film folk getting a few lines in the media by calling on an ailing actor with an envelope and a photographer in tow.
What I don’t understand, however, is a three-column story – Help pours in for Ashwath – in The Hindu that is mostly a puff job for a visiting film artist. We have a quote from this cine artist saying, “He (Mr Ashwath) is an exclusive chapter in the history of Kannada cinema and his contribution to the industry cannot be undermined”. That should be read ‘underestimated’, I guess.
As a reader wouldn’t you want the newspaper to tell you what Vertebro Basilar Insufficency (VBI) is ? That is what ails Mr Ashwath. Readers would have been better served, I reckon, if The Hindu story had given a two-para background on its possible symptoms, and the required line of treatment. The reporter need not have gone any farther than making a quick Google search for the relevant info.
The newspaper, which says Mr Ashwath is undergoing treatment in Mysore, doesn’t put us any wiser on the hospital where the relevant treatment is offered. A quote from his doctor would have more relevance to the story.