Friday, March 02, 2007

Surprising events

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?

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Of course, there was a lot of nastiness at the last edit meet. You can bet Aveek's silk undies, there will be more.
I dont work at BW but i have some very reliable sources and here's what they say the editor wants to do: to raise the standard of indian journalism.
According to my moles, pocha thinks Indian journos are no good, the stories done are ordinary, and there is absolutely no research.

So, he's going to train all the guys/women at BW to write better stories and make the magazine as good as international stuff.

For god's sake, what is he talking about. I've seen stories in businessweek and many other mags that suck. and at the same time, ive seen some fairly decent stories done by indian journos.
so, we've got good and bad journos everywhere. and indian journalism in particular is handicapped by the system. We are lucky if we get proper training, we hardluy ever have the rresources nor is there time to actually foucs and do a grand story like some of the better mags abroad do, and they spend a lot of time douing their stoires.

so pocha, i dont know whether u are wrong when u say that indian journos are mediocre but u are definitely not right.

Bonatellis06 said...

did you think MDA KMB will write different articles for different papers? And, in any case, did you think these guys write it themselves !!!???

- Bonatellis

K said...

Bona - You know and I know they don't write it themselves, and I know they're all bloody releases, but not everybody who reads this blog knows. This blog has to be a bit more 'inclusive', after all I get my cues from Chiddu!

Anonymous said...

And considering the fact that there are legions of journalists whose published bylined copy is not "written" by them, what's wrong when the abbreviated nobs of Indian business pay their PR jocks to do that for them, eh?

thalassa_mikra said...

I have a question. How does Aveek compare to Mr. Purie in terms of running a tight ship and micro-managing everything?

Anonymous said...

It is good Aveek finally decided to make some drastic course changes to that lumbering ship. Tony was a good captain but not too focussed about the job at BW. As for #3, he should better sit in some sarkari office and repeat his mantra of seniority and the privileges (sic) that come with it. (Hope he realizes seniority is an ass :P) I am only sad for Pro - shifting him up was bad - but the new freedom will help him show what he can really do.

Anonymous said...

man you really write crap. i suggest you concentrate on your job & forget others. I am a reader of BW for the last 6 years. I think the mag improved significantly under the outgoing editor (whosoever it was) BT, BI or for that mater outlook business are unreadbale, to say the least!

Anonymous said...

rohit vishwanath certainly does not qualify as one of the hottest young journalists bw has produced. the story he won the cnn award for was not his idea in the first place, it wasn't even structured by him and worse, he didn't write it, his senior did. that he is headed for the toi edit pages is a good thing. its one of the least read edit pages in the country and there isn't much to do there. maybe he could write the spiritual life column.

Anonymous said...

Is it poor Rohit's fault that he got an award which he did not deserve? He's lucky and he can't be "accused" of being so!

BW still is a great place to work despite all that has happened. Better than BT. What about BI? Well, that's also a cool place, but for some crooks.

Yatish Rajawat is joining BW-Delhi from ET. Another Bombay guy, Raghu Mohan, is in Delhi these days. Wonder what's he doing here. Maybe collecting dope to restart Mediamamu. He though vehemently denies he is the chap who ran Mediamamu. Something tells me, it is him, maverick that he is.

K said...

Wow, this comment thread has become a BW bitchboard! Don't get personal, I mean in 'personal lives' terms, and I'll let the comments be.