Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Moving on from The Pioneer

 

My Second Innings Comes to an End.


My long, rather very long, second innings with The Pioneer comes to an end on May 31. My first innings coincided with the years Vinod Mehta was Editor of the paper. The second, and far more rewarding, innings has been with Chandan Mitra at the helm.

I opted for journalism as a career in the summer of 1982. In these 30 years, I have worked for various newspapers (including two of the oldest in India -- The Statesman, founded by Robert Knight in 1875 in Kolkata, and The Pioneer, founded by George Allen in 1865 and originally published from Allahabad),  written for many others. I have been singularly fortunate to have worked with editors with extraordinary professional abilities and human qualities. I have the utmost respect and regard for MJ Akbar, Sunanda K Datta-Ray, Vinod Mehta and Chandan Mitra.

Among them, Chandan, whom I have known for longer than I can recall, shall always enjoy a special place in my heart. He has been a steadfast friend, caring and kind, generous to a fault.

I have always held Chandan in high esteem for his scrupulous adherence to the best traditions of journalism. I am not aware of a single instance of his spiking a story or dressing it up. The credit for the stunning expose on the Great 2G Spectrum Robbery goes as much to him as to my colleague J Gopikrishnan. That’s only one such story; examples abound.

On no occasion has he ever asked me to tweak comments that appear on the Editorial Page, which I looked after. On occasions when a particular comment was perceived to be harsh by individuals or organisations, he did not hesitate to defend the paper’s position. Other Editors are known to have disowned their edit writers at the slightest indication of trouble.

Above all, his long struggle to save The Pioneer from going the way of many newspapers that have ceased to exist due to lack of resources is truly admirable. Lesser mortals would have abandoned ship after the Thapar Group decided to shut down The Pioneer which had stacked up huge losses. He took it over, turned it around, and happily the paper chugs along, small but independent and proud.

To borrow an expression, Chandan is a prince among editors and owners of newspapers.

It could then be asked, why am I leaving The Pioneer? The answer to that question, if truth be told, is simple: To try my luck with new media, specifically digital media. I will share the details as the Mumbai-based project on which I will be working takes form and shape.

I have been associated, directly or indirectly, with print media for three decades. When I began my journey into journalism, it was the hot metal era. From there I have travelled all the way to an age when technology drives media. And technology fascinates me. Indeed, technology has seduced me away from print media.

Yet, it’s difficult to discard the past and disown newspapering which I loved so intensely. A part of me remains irrevocably tied to print media. A 30-year affair can’t just be snuffed out like a candle reduced to a stub. So I propose to continue to write for The Pioneer where Coffee Break shall remain.

I have no hesitation in acknowledging that I owe an immeasurable debt of gratitude to Chandan. As for The Pioneer, my affection for the paper is, and shall remain, limitless.

With Chandan’s blessings and support I embark upon a new path. Had it been otherwise, I wouldn’t have ventured forth. 


20 comments:

Dr Satya Saraswat said...

So Digital Media's gain will not be Print Media's lost. We have laddoos in both our hands. Hopefully Kanchan da's presence in digital Media arena will infuse some credibility to the apparently dubious field.

lata.varma said...

All the best Kanchanji! I bet with your knowledge and experience you will make a mark in your new venture.

Manoj said...

Good luck dada. I hope and pray that you pioneer a new era in Indian media and make the digital media as strong as electronic/print media.

commonman (commonman57@rediffmail.com) said...

All the very best Dada. May you succeed in your new venture too, and get everything you have wished in life

Nitin said...

Good luck with your new venture! Hoping to see your new project take form soon!!

Harsh Sharma said...

Congratulations Sir! My best wishes for this new venture in this new medium which is getting more and more powerful every day.Mouse is getting mightier than the pen. Someone rightly said, there are no coincidences in this world and nothing happens without a reason.God has inspired you to take this initiative because this new super fast medium of communication needs leaders like you.More because it is under threat,the way Press was once.This time it is not just the power that be,but also many other vested interests,who are bent on scuttling its freedom.I Wish and pray, you make your mark in this field of Digital Journalism and set new benchmarks of professionalism that others will follow.

Doctor said...

You are one reason I open the Pioneer every day. You will be missed!

Hsotuhsa said...

Good Luck Sir.Enjoyed reading your work tremendously.A dishonest journalist can do immense damage but honest ones like you can lead the genera; public to light.Keep the diya burning bright.
Than you

BK Chowla, said...

You have my best wishes.

Dinipc said...

Wish you all the best! I live in Mumbai and would like to get associated with the Mumbai-based venture you are going to work with.

Bhuwan Chand said...

Reading Pioneer first thing in the morning has become an habit in the last two decades for me, thanks to you guys - Vinod Mehta, Chandan Mitra, Swapan Dasgupta, Kanchan Da and many other journalists & columnists... you deserve a big round of applause of creating & continuing an Independent Newspaper where the contents (news & views) are the king... All the very best for great future ahead Dada.

anupknair said...

All the best, Kanchan da. Wish you success in your new secret project. Whatever it is, I am sure it will in the long run contribute in no small measure to objective & honest journalism as well as increasing effectiveness of media in enhancing governance!

Viva Kermani said...

Dear Kanchan - what a heartfelt tribute to The Pioneer and to Chandan Mitra - seldom do we see this kind of loyalty and dedication today.

My respect for you just got bigger

I wish you the very best in your new assignment and I wish for Pioneer to go from strength to strength.

Tsomo85 said...

Not bad at all! Keep up the passion.

suman said...

Sir,
A Greetings as an accolade......For the ensuing days another challenging job starts in your life.I wish every success for you.Hope that you progress well in your sphere.

Ajay Mohan said...

Sir I welcome you in digital media.

VOXINDICA said...

Here is wishing you all the best in your new innings! Sad however to see a champion of Hinduism depart from the print medium, where such bold journalists are few and far between.

sports funia said...

well don

Anonymous said...

Best wishes to you !

Glad to know your columns at Coffee Break would continue.

Shankar Sharan said...

Well, good luck Kanchan ji. May you succeed in your new venture. Your zeal for fighting Jihadi and other bigotry, as well as your love for culture and Bangla language may remain the same - this is my wish.
Rgds,