Saturday, 4 April 2015

Joshipura-A proactive PRO with learning mindset

Kashyap Joshipura
This week our friend Kashyap Joshipura was in Ahmedabad. I met him almost after a year. No doubt we have infrequent teletalks as he is posted in Assam for last two years. He has recently been promoted as Chief Manager Corporate Communications ONGCL, something not many know here.
He is the same Kashyap who was quite friendly with media when he was posted in Ahmedabad. His health has improved a lot because of natural and lesser polluted air of Assam!.

Time stands still as he starts engaging conversation. After the recent meeting, I can confidently claim that I can deliver a small interesting lecture about Assam and can easily visit Assam with friendly tips of Kashyap. He belongs to Saurashtra region and I was quite surprised that a journalist in Joshipura found Gujarat and Saurashtra in Assam.

He told about Nagaras( big drums in temples) in Assam which are from Jasdan and ice gola (favourite candy of many in summer)making machines which are from Rajkot. In the same breath he told how similar were some dialect of language of Assam with Kathiawadi (Gujarati of Saurashtra).
He also brought a copy of publication of Union of journalists of Assam. I will write about the publication sometime later. Presently it is all about Kashyap.
As the business world is becoming more competitive with more and more people trying to catch attention of target audience through fast growing multimedia platform, A good PR or CC man has to be pro-active and always in a learning mode.
It is not an exaggeration that Kashyap Joshipura , CC man of Navratna, ONGCL, possess both these qualities besides many others to have a kind of emotional balance with media and his own PR fraternity along with right professional relationship.
He is of the breed that has good exposure of news media which makes the task of a CC Man smooth, easy and effective. Armed with PG degrees in Journalism and Public Relations, his initial career in 1980 was with English newspaper Times of India and Gujarati newspaper, Gujarat Samachar. Both are still leading newspapers of Gujarat in their segment.
 Though a graduate with English literature, he has been successful in a highly technical organization, the ONGCL, only because of his pro active approach and a learning mind set.
His first encounter with PR was with Rajkot Municipal Corporation where he was the first PRO. This being quite traditional set up sticking to hierarchical structure, probably gave him first set of challenge to redefine the PR work in terms of modern corporate communication.
In ONGCL, he started his career with Eastern Region with base at Calcutta, now known as Kolkata and later worked in Mumbai in Maharashtra and Vadodara and Ahmedabad in Gujarat before being posted in East again.

And he has good knowledge of Bangla, Marathi and he is learning Assamese at the fag end of his career. Besides, his mother tongue Gujarati, he has good command over English, Hindi and Urdu- certainly a skill that deserves adjective – polyglot.

Relations with hometown or mother tongue are two best known factors helping develop effective relationships- both personal and professional. And his knowledge of many languages holds key for his success.
His knowledge of Marathi helped him have a Marathi girl as his life partner when he was posted in Mumbai. 
In Ahmedabad, he was very active with the activities of media whether it was a function of a newspaper or an event of the newly formed Gujarat Media Club. And as the latest conversation revealed, he is very active with journalists and journalists’ organisations in Assam.

Probably that is the reason that he leaves an indelible impression on people he meets in his personal and professional sphere.

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Virendra Pandit is President of Gujarat Media Club

Virendra Pandit
The new team of Gujarat Media Club for 2015-16 was announced today. The team was selected by the new President Virendra Pandit of Hindu Business line as there was no nomination for any post of the GMC.
It is not strange that there was no candidate in the fray for elections to various posts and executive committee. Except last year where three candidates had filed nominations, people are not interested in the elections of the Club which has corpus of around Rs 75 lakh and membership base of 250 plus.
Even Virendra Pandit has been appointed as President on the basis of recommendation of the outgoing President Pradeep Mallik .It was seconded by Neha Amin.
Pandit has chosen the following members in his team:

President                                  Virendra Pandit (Hindu Businessline)
Sr. Vice President                    Uday Mahurkar (India Today)
Vice President                         Leena Misra (Indian Express)
Vice President                          Naresh Dave (Veteran Journalist)
Treasurer                                 Ram Mani Pandey (ABP News)
Secretary General                    Sunil Raghu (Deccan Herald)
Secretary Organization             Viren Vyas (Gujarat Samachar-UK)
Joint Secretary                         Thakur Bhupendra Singh (News 24)
Joint Secretary                         Manish Desai (CNBC Awaz)
Exe. Com. Member                 Dakshesh Pathak (Guj. Samachar)
Exe. Com. Member                 Dhaval Bharwad (Divya Bhaskar)
Exe. Com. Member                 Vinay Umarji (Business Standard)
Exe. Com. Member                 Shatrughna Sharma (Dainik Jagran)
Exe. Com. Member                 Neha Amin ( Gujarat Global)
Exe. Com. Member                 Nayan Dave (The Pioneer)

All past Presidents & Secretary General will be Special Invitees, an official release issued by the Club said.

Monday, 16 March 2015

GMC invites entries for Media Awards

Gujarat Media Club today invited entries for Awards. However, the last date for submitting entries has not been declared. 
When contacted , Secretary General of GMC, Nayan Dave, said that the last date would be announced soon. He further said that 10 to 15 days will be given for submission of entries.
Here is the mail the GMC sent today:

Gujarat Media Club is announcing GMC Awards 2014 for best performances in journalism in the following categories:

1. Print News report of the Year in Gujarati
2. Print News report of the Year in English/Hindi
3. Television News Report of the year in Gujarati/Hindi/English
4. News Photograph of the year
5. Life Time Contribution to Journalism

First four awards will carry a cash prize of Rs 25,000 while the fifth award will have Rs 50,000 and citation.

Nominations can be from Gujarati, Hindi and English languages. Journalists should be Gujarat based at the time of filing the story while all stories and photographs should have been published/broadcast between 1 Jan 2014 to 31 Dec 2014

All submissions shall be related to Gujarat only and strictly be bylined. For non-bylined articles applicants have to submit verification from the editor of mass circulated dailies. Publication should be a registered entity with RNI with at least 10,000 copies in certified circulation audit. 

For Life Time Contribution to Journalism award, the nominee should have served at least 30 years in journalism. Any person can nominate a candidate for Lifetime Achievement Award accompanied by introduction of the journalist, profile, work and special contribution in advancing/benchmarking the profession.

Broadcast submissions should be straight reporting or documentary style and at least 90 to 180 seconds in duration, and print articles should be at least 500 words in length.

Friday, 13 March 2015

Gandhinagar Samachar with the spirit of motivational journalism

Gandhinagar Samachar state capital’s daily newspaper today entered 30th year. If one takes into account its initial four years as a weekly and bi weekly it has completed 33 years.
It is a great achievement considering the fact that it was started by a government employee quitting his job at the young age of 32 without any formal training in journalism.
Krishnakant Jha in his office
Krishnakant Jha the Managing Editor of the newspaper has a very interesting and inspiring story about his entrepreneurial venture. A mega cultural event based on Ramayana had hardly any coverage in the newspapers. On the other hand, he says, ordinary incidents like accidents and statements of allegations and accusations were prominently displayed by the media. This, he says, is in the root of the launch of Gandhinagar Samachar.
He is a commerce graduate.
Though he has no formal training in journalism, he was not a stranger to media. He was an avid reader and as leader of Sachivalaya employees union he knew what clicked in media pretty well. In a way, he was part of the media game.
Armed with this exposure to media and a deep urge for what he says motivational, Cultural social positive journalism, he started his journey into the uncharted path of media in 1982. Though Gandhinagar was still capital of Gujarat, it hardly had any social life at that time.
It was a city created to serve as capital of Gujarat and had no local population. Much of the staff used to come here from Ahmedabad only to return in the evening. One can imagine news flow and target readership of 80s.
Today almost every leading newspaper has Gandhinagar in its marketing plans. Obviously this change in the media scene has affected Krishnakant’s one man enterprise most. But like a successful entrepreneur, he is there with his broadsheet Gujarati newspaper Gandhinagar samachar.

He says that he is still committed to his idea of motivational, Cultural social positive journalism and gives plenty of space to such news. He feels that there is lot of space for such positive journalism.
He agrees that other news, the hard news, is integral part of a newspaper and cannot be ignored. It is only an issue of creating a healthy balance of news content.
He has learnt almost every aspect of print journalism right from gathering news to page layout and setting up a distribution network besides the most important aspect, the ad resource mobilization.

He is sharing his hands on experience of media with the students of journalism for the last five years. 64 year young Krishnakant Jha heads the media unit of the Sarva Kadi education group which runs several educational institutions in Gandhinagar.
His spirit of positive journalism is very much reflected in the annual issue of his newspaper. He has been bringing out an annual issue for the last five year. Like other publications, even for him it is an additional tool of resource mobilization. But he has woven it around his theme of positive journalism. Every year it is about a historical personality.

This year the the issue is dedicated to great saint Narsinh Mehta, the creator of Gandhi’s famous bhajan Vaishnav Jan to tene kahiye.
It’s a compilation of useful content on glossy art paper. I went through it. It’s a collector’s item worth preserving as a resource guide on Narsinh Mehta covering all aspects of the life of the great saint.

If I say that Krishnakant Jha is an epitome of motivational spirit it would not neither be inappropriate nor exaggeration. The most striking fact is that he is a handicapped and his mobility is through his wheel chair. But nothing has daunted him that is his moving motivational spirit.

Monday, 9 March 2015

Great exit of most sacked editor

Vinod Mehta is no more. Most of English newspapers and the virtual world of netizens is full of accounts of greatness of the Editor who had visible presence in both print and electronic medium.
This is a rare phenomenon in the media world driven by tall egos where everyone thinks that other one is a kind of scoundrel and generally have contempt for most of peers and superiors all alike.

I do not know this lucknow boy nor do I have any kind of indirect experience of interaction with him. Like most of others, I saw and heard him in TV debates. But of late I developed a great liking for his tweets written with handle drunken Vinod Mehta.

No doubt, he must be having someone to tweet. But the fact remains that the tweets of drunken Vinod Mehta had sober and quite witty mind of Vinod Mehta. His straightforward views without mincing any word gave his views in 140 chracters. It represented free, frank and fearless Vinod Mehta.
In his obit Arnab Goswami has frankly admitted that he and Vinod disagreed on most of issue, still Arnab liked him for his natural response. He says that his idol is Vinod Mehta and says he was the editor, he never had.
Those who have seen shouting and barking Arnab, find an emotional but rational Arnab when he writes about him.
M J Akbar says, He began as an editor and died as an editor more than four decades later. He never took a demotion which is saying something.
What was so great about this editor? Today when editors are succumbing to all kind of management trick, Vinod Mehta was the editor who preferred sacking and in the process changed more than half a dozen publication. Most of them were launched by him and after some time Mehta was out.

Today Indian media needs such editors who very closely guard precious editorial freedom. Probably because most of the editors lack these guts, they found in Vinod Mehta an icon to adulate in his death. Naturally hardly anyone could afford free and fearless Editor.

Vinod Mehta knew this truth very well. That’s why he had named his dog Editor.

This is how Smita Gupta described his career graph in brief in obituary in The Hindu , Vinod Mehta came to journalism from the world of advertising. In his early years in Mumbai, when he launched Debonair, everyone was fair game. But when he moved to newspaper journalism with The Indian Post first and then to The Independent and finally The Pioneer, he gradually learnt over the years, to his cost, that newspaper proprietors were not always willing to risk hurting the fragile egos of politicians. But till the end, he never quite lost his irreverence.
His stints in all three newspapers were short, but despite the brevity of the tenures — a few years each — he left the stamp of his personality on them. He attracted some of the most talented journalists, created great teams, and then gave them the freedom to work. It was only at the Outlook, the last organisation he launched in Delhi, that he lasted 17 years, creating a rival to India Today.
One can get idea of Vinod Mehta in his own words in the two books he wrote, Lucknow boy and its sequel Editor unplugged.

Mehta did not have any gurus but admitted that two journalists influenced him: Nikhil Chakravarty for his honesty and fairness, and Khushwant Singh for his mischief and malice. “To deny that I shall miss being an editor would be a towering lie,” he wrote in his book. “If the fairy godmother granted me the luxury of choosing a profession for my next janam (life), I would say without hesitation, editor.”

Friday, 6 March 2015

Kirti Khatri, national editor of a district newspaper

Kirti Khatri
Kirti Khatri, Kutch and Kutchmitra have become synonyms. Any journalist who has been to Kutch on a journalistic assignment will agree with this introduction of Kirti.
He is a kind of moving encyclopedia of Kutch with a clear vision for better Kutch.
Though Kirti retired as editor of the leading newspaper of Kutch, Kutchmitra two years ago, he is still associated with this newspaper as its consulting editor. This is just a technical shift in his position in the newspaper, for people of Kutch and the staff of the newspaper it is the same Kirti Khatri.
Recently he had been to North-East on what he calls a personal study tour and has penned his views in five weekly articles in his newspaper Kutchmitra for his readers. Not many have the idea that Pakistan first attacked India on April 9, 1965 in Kutch as a kind of trial for full fledged attack on India later that year.
Earlier this year, Kirti visited Bangalore to interview 81 year old S J Coelho who was Collector of Kutch at that time. He had literally seen the attack as he was in the target border area on that day. Kirti remembered that story and like a great journalist traced Coelho and interviewed him for the 50 years of the attack in which CRPF had a huge causality.
Kirti is Kutchi, son of famous short story writer of Kutch, Jayant Khatri. But his journalistic career began with Janshakti in Mumbai and later he moved to Jansatta in Ahmedabad. It is here that I met him first.
However, it is his career as Deputy Editor in 1980 and Chief Editor since 1982 for ‘Kutchmitra’ which makes him a noted journalist of the best cadre. His insightful Editorship for ‘Kutchmitra’ has taken the Newspaper to a new height.  
He has been honored with several awards starting from ‘Kutch Shakti Award’ in1990 to ‘Harindra Dave SmritiParitoshik’ in 2011. He has also been awarded by Life Time Achievement in Journalism Award by Gujarat Media Club.He is the second recipient of Tushar Bhatt Journalism Award.
Kirti Khatri has come out with a nine volume of his writings. It is basically a compilation of his writings spanned over 32 years. This is the period when he has remained with Kutchmitra.
The compilation is missing the young Kirti, the man who started his career in Mumbai and later shifted to Jansatta in Ahmedabad. He belongs to old school of journalisms where journalists rarely thought of having records of their writings to create profile. Even the writings in these books could become possible because of the well organized library of Kutchmitra.
The first of the nine books “Manas Vali Kutchimadu” tells what Kirti means to his friends in media, leaders in society whether they are businessmen or bureaucrats.
One of his books
The title of the first article in this book aptly describes what Kirti Khatri is. The title is “national editor of a district newspaper”. Probably nothing can describe journalist in Kirti better than this title.
Like me many journalist friends feel that he would have a star journalist if he were in Mumbai or Delhi. But, he is Kutchi Madu-man of Kutch- and always remained kutchi. As son of famous Kutch based short story writer Jayant Khatri, spirit of Kutch is in his blood and since he was brought up in Kutch and his growth was mainly in Kutch, he breaths Kutch in all aspects of his life.
And if he were not there, who could have told national media about what Kutch is what are its problems and the fascinating kutch. Like me there are scores of journalists for whom Kirti was the main source of stories about Kutch. Stories of border issues hit headlines in national media with journalists accumulating by-lines, all courtesy Kirti Khatri, a name unknown to the readers of these stories.
Writings in the eight volumes take reader to Kutch when scarcity and Kutch were common as struggle of Kutchi men and arduous terrain of the second biggest district of India.

March 12 is the birthday of Kirti born in 1946.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

S&T communication Award to Gujarat journalist

For Ahmedabad based journalist, Sarasvatichandra Acharya, science has been a subject beyond his school and college text book. Though he writes on variety of subjects, science and scientists figure in his writings and films prominently.

This profile of the Physics graduate Acharya has won him coveted award of National Council for Science and Technology Communication. He has been given award for communication in the electronic medium category which carries award of Rs 1,00,000,  a memento and a citation at a function in Delhi.
These awards are given on National Science Day, Feb 28. The day marks the discovery of Raman Effect by Physicist Dr. C V Raman who got Nobel Prize for this.
He has produced more than dozen films about science, mainly about institutions working in the field of science communication. Almost equal number of films he has on health awareness.
Besides this he frequently contributes news and features in print and electronic media. He is a regular contributor of science content to Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha TV.
He feels that much of science communication in the country is limited to English and Hindi. In the process regional languages which are main channels of communication to much of the population is left out from the main stream science communication. There is lot of scope for this. There is no shortage of funds for such an activity, but it is to be targeted and prioritized.

Armed with a B.Sc and LLB degree he started his career with Ahmedabad doordarshan in 1996 as news reader. Later he joined Gujarati Financial Express and Sambhav group. In 2004, he joined Deergha media, an audio visual media launched by his wife Manisha Sharma. He runs a content generation agency.