Sometimes, really weird things happen in the media world and recently the title for 'Weirdest Happenings' would not go to the usual suspects (UndieTV or RajdeepTV) but in a place far more sedate usually. So sedate that they took eons over stories, but still the events of the past few days have left even the most battle-hardened journo a bit befuddled. I'm talking about Businessworld. Now, sitting on an armchair many people would find many things wrong with the way that place functioned, down to the (former) editor coming only twice a week, members of the reporting team working from home as a matter of habit (approved by the editor). However, the product still came out every week and it must be said that occasionally a decent story would slip through.
But, lack of editorial direction,and this always flows from the top saw them loose an entire crop of young journalists, journalists it must be said more loyal than the average mercenary journo, but despite the exciting times we live in many of these pretty loyal folks were given five-six percent increments and well, they saw the light and moved on to better places. I know quite a few of them, and two of them made the same comment on how their productivity has 'improved' after quitting, but the place should not have lost these folks in the first place. I'm not saying that these people were fantastic, happening young reporters (there aren't that many of those in print, well, maybe me, but anyhow) but they left. BW has had two reporters win the CNN YJA in the past three years, both have quit. Rohit, in fact quit weeks after he won the award to join ToI's edit page team. Go figure!
From what I figure, Aveek Sarkar realised that BW needed a radical transformation, but bringing in a person who was essentially your China stringer to run the place? I really can't get the logic of that, it makes even less sense than getting a bunch of Manhattan-ites running a business daily, which I can say without any trepidation isn't making sense (which is a lesson that should have been learnt from the rather dramatic decline in the mainline daily, but that is another story).
Anyway, this is just conjecture, I cannot verify any facts that I have mentioned, but if you have more information or if you work or worked in BW, please fill us in with the details. From what I have heard there was a level of nastiness at the last edit meeting. Any truth to that?
On another note - was it only me, or did you also think that the mainline dailies do a better job of the budget than the business papers. I though ToI was very good, maybe the best of the lot and far superior to ET. But I did feel that HT did a better job than Papermint. And did you notice that every paper had exactly the same column by SBM, KMB and MDA?