[dropcap]A[/dropcap]fter 11 years, the news which comes to me on Saturday reopened all my old wounds. Those days were my baby steps into journalism. I had no mentor, neither guide nor directions. I was struggling as a journalist; Mobin Pandit came as an angel to help me and he changed my perception towards media. He guided me towards the thin lines in this news world. He taught me the difference between the tabloid and broadsheet journalism. He taught me how to make news out of no news and how to express your opinion clearly.
Before Mr. Pandit joined the Afternoon DC, I was struggling there to establish myself. I followed my instincts and worked hard , I got promotion and appreciations. I had joined the tabloid as a special correspondent but after the anniversary edition in which I put all my efforts, hard work and acumen; I was promoted as a City Editor with double the salary drawn by me at that time. Old editorial staffs especially sub-editors who were due for their promotions got frustrated. Now, the old lethargic staffs had to really sweat it out to prove their mettle. After I taking charge, these elements were thrown out of Afternoon DC one by one., but those who remained there, started paying filth. they started writing anonymous letters to management, they gossiped and at times management failed to take mature decisions.
Mobin Pandit had joined the Afternoon DC as a Deputy Editor, but the bitterness in the ADC staffs made his stay quite miserable. His six months with the ADC, have been hell for him and finally he decided to leave and went to Doha. However, before leaving for Qatar, he perfectly trained and transformed me into a good journalist. He encouraged me to start my own column. That’s how; I started writing the ‘Legal Eagle’. After the initial hiccups due to his departure, I started doing well there, but Mobin’s exit gave undue courage to those elements who wanted to shun their assumed competitors. Management too started interfering so much, and finally ADC became worst place for survival. those who had no opportunities remained there but those who could find better prospects left the paper with utmost dignity.
Under Mobin’s guidance, I ruled the front page of the tabloid. I became face the ADC, and that was proud moment for me. This made many enemies within with fewer friends during this aggressive journey. Nevertheless that was the golden period of my career and life. Mr. Pandit was respected for his no nonsense attitude towards news coverage. He not only mentored me but many young reporters like me.
After he left, I too resigned from the tabloid because the management and editorial department became very worst, thereafter. Staffs started blogging internal conflicts on public platform; management started using me for liaising work due to my good contacts and networks, even they ask passes of Dandiya Nights and Ganpati mandaps like minor things. I never had courage to say no to my bosses, but I had to take a call and walk out of that mess for better future. So, I quit. I planned to start my own newspaper “Afternoon”, got the title “Afternoon Voice”. Again Mobin Pandit came back to Mumbai to help me in crafting my brainchild ‘Afternoon Voice’. He worked with us for good amount of time. When I learned to execute my newspaper independently, he went back to Qatar. He helped me unconditionally and because of his guidance, I am running this tabloid since seven years.
There are people in this media industry, who are from old school. They never changed with time and they don’t want to change because they have no options. Nowadays, media is dominated by young journalists with innovations and experimentations. Many have guts to say no to old practices. World has really gone digital and people should upgrade themselves to make their own space. Even now the media industry is male dominating, youngster and especially girls have hardly any future if she is naïve or have no mentor .
To change this prerogative, I am here with my own publication with the same title. walking the path of my mentors and providing platform to many aspiring journalists. I am a small middle class girl, they are business house. They have staff in hundreds and I have staff in tens. However, I have integrity, strength in my pen and courage in my heart. I learned to walk with my own Voice. People read me, hear me, support and encourage me. This happens because many people motivate me, my readers are my well wishers, they keep guiding me and how can i forget that one letter from Late Mobin Pandit… . He wrote:
You are the best……….keep it up………… we love you…. You are young and have lots of options in life.
You don’t have to be cautious while writing, it’s nice that you are a very honest and sincere person, and I am suffering because of this trait of mine. So, I can easily identify with you and your woes. Your honesty and innocence makes you loud and clear. People take it as an arrogance. Try to be cool. It’s natural for your peers to dislike you especially as you are growing in the paper and have got quick promotions and lots of appreciation from readers. It’s nothing unusual. You should be happy. If you are still heading the city section, praise stories which are good and don’t criticize if someone has filed a bad story or a non-story. Newspaper is a team work and if there is bickering within, the paper suffers.
You are a capable journalist and an asset to editorial. I am very much sure that you can do well. If you are thinking about the “Afternoon” and how it should be managed, then, keep in mind that an eveninger is entirely a follow-up business and, according to me, anything which morningers have carried should not be accommodated at all. Any eveninger, according to our experience (about 13 years) should be 75 per cent based on crime and general stuff. Even if you have to cover a press conference, you can turn and twist coverage to suit an eveninger’s needs. Even your interviews are quite worth reading, keep doing it frequently. Even your column ‘Legal Eagle’ is quite interesting. Anyway, you please keep working hard and one day everything will fall in place. There is no substitute to sincere and hard work. Keep your network intact.
You have a great success ahead.
Today, my heart bleeds due to his death. He was a good mentor; he was like a support system and guide to me. He taught me how to walk and talk in media. He was in touch with me for guidance and tips. However, I never expected his too early departure. He is survived by his wife and daughter. I will definitely miss him and deeply mourn his death. We, the Afternoon Voice staff offer our deepest condolences and strength to his family through this difficult time.
RIP Mobin Sir!
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