The '90s were transformational years in India. I grew up in a working-class neighborhood in Hyderabad, India, surrounded by family members who were blue-collar factory workers who lost jobs due to government privatization policies and could not bargain for fair settlements. We had to live through inefficient government machinery, inadequate civic infrastructure, lack of consumer protection, political corruption, and communal riots.
All these life situations have impressed upon me that no matter the nature of the societal problem, the only way to fight it is to have a collective voice and a platform, and this lead me to choose journalism as a career.
I have been a journalist for over fourteen years now. I have experience in broadcast, and digital journalism with TV9, Times-Now, News X, CNBC TV18, BBC News and ABP News. Currently, I am pursuing Master in Business Administration (MBA) from Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge.
I started as a field reporter and covered the news with a specific focus on governance, women empowerment, and socio-cultural issues related to human trafficking, climate-related agrarian crisis, discrimination of marginalized sections, honor killings, extra-judicial killings perpetrated by the police, natural calamities and elections. I have produced stories for digital platforms, Radio, and World Television bulletins in English, Telugu, and Hindi.
I transitioned from broadcast to digital journalism during my employment with BBC (June 2017 to February 2021). The stories that I have worked on are published on digital platforms of BBC News (Indian languages, English, Spanish, African, and Middle East)
I have also reported live on the BBC World News bulletin during developing news stories from Southern states of India.
In my last role, I oversaw our news channel's digital video content. My experience with search engine optimization, traffic analysis, audience engagement, and analytics helps me plan to balance editorial priorities and revenue generation. Getting collaborations with fellow digital content creators is also a part of my job. Social media monitoring and developing strategies for our content play a key role in my job.
Today's newsroom is a constant tussle between the constant flow of information from numerous channels, fact-checking, impromptu decision-making on the editorial direction, and deployment of physical assets into the field to further report on developing stories.
Journalism everywhere is under the constant stress of harsh economic realities and fierce competition to get audience attention and is now inexplicably tied to ad-revenue targets. None of our journalism degrees have prepared us for this industry in India or equipped us with the lessons and knowledge to manage editorial policy and economic resources.
Over the past years, I have seen many fellow women journalists bow out of this profession, and many of my journalist colleagues burn out due to chaos induced due to lack of proper management and planning.
I felt the need for project management in journalism. My tryst with project management techniques started with many social conversations with my partner and family friends in the Information Technology industry and how they adopted Agile and Lean project management techniques and have materially improved their processes. I saw parallels between launching software as a service product and news production.
I experimented with adopting lean methodologies like Kanban, enabling me to manage news production and promote accountability and transparency across all stages.
I saw a need for a more formal education in project and product management would equip me to take on management and mentorship roles.
“We are all stories in the end, just make it a good one eh?”