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Five Famous Indian Journalists
chillibreeze writer — Swapnil Bhumkar
In a nation where the line between news and calculated suppositions is terribly thin and the success of a news publisher or channel is measured by the revenue generated and not by the quality of content, there are still some selfless information hunters who help us keep our faith in the ‘system’. Below is the lowdown on five such Indian journalists who have time and again taken Indian journalism a step ahead in the global arena.
Vir Sanghvi was born in London and raised in London and Mumbai. At the tender age of 17, Sanghvi shouldered the responsibility of Founder Editor at Bombay Magazine. He was also engaged in editing Sunday which was at the time, the largest selling magazine in India. In 1997, Vir became the editor for Ananda Bazaar Patrika and two years later in 1999, he was on the editor’s seat for Hindustan Times.
Recently in 2010, Sanghvi was accused of being connected to the Niira Radia Tapes but later was given a clean chit after clarifying his role. He is still appointed as an advisor to the Hindustan Times.
Arun Shourie was born in British India to an Indian Civil Services Officer turned consumer rights activist. He studied at various schools in India and the U.S. and later joined Indian Express. In 1979, he became the executive editor of Indian express after writing exposés uncovering various corruption scandals throughout the country. In 1981, the then Chief Minister of Maharashtra Antulay was forced to step down after Shourie’s one man crusade on how millions of dollars was extorted from businesses dependent on Maharashtra’s resources. As a result, Indian Express had to face a lot of political pressure and Shourie was fired.
From 1982 to 1986, Shourie wrote for various news publishers. Those were the years when he exposed Rajiv Gandhi and the Bofors howitzer gun purchase scandal. Shourie was unstoppable in his crusade and Indian Express faced all kinds of attacks, especially after opposing the defamation bill in 1988. About 300 lawsuits were filed against Indian Express at that time.
Shourie continued to write various books and articles throughout the years and simultaneously worked his way up with BJP to win the position of Minister of Disinvestment, Communication and Information Technology in the Government of India under Atal Bihari Vajpayee's leadership. Again in 2007, Shourie was in the forefront of the opposition troupe against the nomination of Pratibha Patil as President of India.
Although Shourie has taken a back seat in his political activities along side BJP, he still writes and has over 25 books on stands. Along the way, Shourie has won a series of national and international honors including the Padma Bhushan, the Magsaysay Award, the Dadabhai Naoroji Award, the Astor Award, the K.S. Hegde Award, the International Editor of the Year Award, and The Freedom to Publish Award.
Son of a former test cricketer Dilip Sardesai and activist Nandini Sardesai, Rajdeep Sardesai was born on 24th May 1965. After attending Oxford, Sardesai moved back to Mumbai and worked with Times of India on various designations before joining television in 1994. He worked as a key loyalist to NDTV and played a role of managing editor for several years before moving out. Sardesai started his own venture along with TV18’s promoter, Raghav Behl to form CNN IBN in 2005. Through the years, Rajdeep Sardesai has become one of India’s most famous television news broadcasters, presenters and journalists.
Today, he is the Editor in Chief at CNN IBN and an ardent columnist for various news publishers. Rajdeep Sardesai is still and will always be known for hosting a show called the Big Fight on NDTV and his reportage on the Gujrat Riots. Sardesai has won quite a few awards, including the Asian Television Awards, Best News Anchor Award at the Indian Television Awards, and Impact Person of the Year Award.
Barkha Dutt is a household name in India. She’s a role model for almost all aspiring journalists today. Being the daughter of veteran journalist and Delhi’s first female reporter, Prabha Dutt, Barkha is one of the most famous journalists in India.
Barkha’s life is full of one milestone after another. She works as a reporter for Prannoy Roy’s NDTV and does everything from in-studio reporting to live coverage. She has interviewed Presidents, Noble Prize winners, and various newsmakers. She has kept the nation enthralled with her reports for years. Her works include reporting on the South Indian Tsunami, Mumbai Terror Attack, and Kargil war for which she was named as the Indian Christiane Amanpour. She really did bring the war to our homes.
The list of her accolades is as long as her list of tasks at NDTV. They include The Inlaks Scholarship in 1997, Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Award, The Chameli Devi Award for the Best Woman Journalist, The Kostas Kyriazis – Greece’s most prestigious journalism award, and many more. But the most prestigious of them all is surely the Padma Shri and that too being the youngest journalist to receive this honor.
Karan Thapar has been the only Indian Journalist to have worked in television journalism outside of India for over 10 years. He is famous and infamous among audience for his grilling sessions of newsmakers who dare to appear on his shows.
Thapar graduated in Economics and Political philosophy from Cambridge University and completed his Doctorate from Oxford University. His career started at Nigeria with The Times. Later in 1982, he joined London Weekend Television where he worked for about 11 years. After his long alliance with London Weekend Television he moved to India to work with a range of organizations like The Hindustan Times Group, United Television, CNN IBN, etc. In 2001, he also set up his own production house called Infotainment Television. Karan Thapar, with his unique interviewing style much like an interrogative officer, has a unique approach to contemporary issues and the people related to those issues. His style makes his shows such as the Line of Fire and Devil’s Advocate a treat to watch.
His honours include The Best Current Affairs Program (Court Martial) and The Best Current Affairs Presenter (Face to Face) at the Asian Television Awards in 2003. He also won the award for the Best Current Affairs Presenter three times in 1999, 2003 and 2005 for HardTalk on BBC.
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