We, the team Afternoon Voice, wish you a very very happy New Year and say thanks for all your contribution, encouragement, and readership. Without you, completing one more year wouldn’t have been possible. We are brats; I am calling ourselves brats because we chose to go beyond boundaries and explore journalism. We are living fearless journalism, we express, we speak and we voice all that we feel we should, all that you can’t and we can. We are here with motive and determination to come out of all odds in fourth estate. We are committed to be fair and honest; being neutral we are not in good books of any political party because we refuse to follow one particular ideology. We are self-funded organisation and trying to keep parallel journalism alive.
A newspaper’s success is an assortment of teamwork and every individual’s brilliance, so as an editor my role comes to be adoptive and reward both. This has been our ninth year in this industry, by now we have stopped crawling and started taking one step a day. My team is young, innovative and hard working. Such small young team is leading daily and giving their best. Like any other organisation, some quit, some new people joined, some are here since inception and some are new but better than the old peers. My only job is to encourage teamwork and lead.
They all are strategically balancing; they know each member’s strengths and weaknesses. My editors at previous newspaper where I was city editor often paired me with less experienced reporters so they would learn from me. Likewise, I learned from them, too, and I’m sure that happens even more today when you might brace an old-timer with great journalism experience with a less-experienced reporter with strong digital skills. Here no one is mass communication student but all have tremendous experience.
The best part of them is they communicate clearly. Well-defined and swift communication is essential for effective teamwork. The best communication is a mix of old-school techniques such as meetings, memos and emails and specialized digital tools such as text messages, instant messages, WhatsApp. We discuss stories, topics and we even gossip in between. I yell at them, they grumble at me but at the end we are one team and family, we eat and booze, do bizarre things together and that is what keeps the fire burning.
In spite of all this, I take utmost care in appreciating and reward teamwork. The top editor’s recognition tells the newsroom a lot about your priorities. I give credit to the team. The byline and photo credit might not always be enough. Even strong team players have egos, and credit to the team needs to recognise the individual contributors, so they know that teamwork and their individual contributions are valued. There is a lot of hierarchy in media industry. I have faced the worst and that is what perhaps motivated me to start my own publication. What I learned from those experiences is to remain human to the people working with you. Be a good friend to them and understand and accept them with their weakness and strength. In my previous newspaper there was too much of nagging, I noticed that sometimes the reporters didn’t have a lot of enthusiasm for the work that illustrations required of them, and I suspect that the lack of credit played a role in that. Good journalists deserve credit and many of them crave for it. Effective teamwork might obscure the contributions of individual team members, but a good editor must realise about those contributions and distribute the acclaim fairly. But teamwork is something beyond this.
I have said enough about teamwork; now let me talk about my team. Suraj Chandran, an old buddy and Resident Editor. He has his limits but his strongest side is making leads. He is the one who polishes the face of Afternoon Voice, front page every day. But he is strongly supported by another stalwart, Moumita Mukherjee, I call her “momo”, because she is as delicate as momos and as strong as its fillings. She is filled with enthusiasm; she is the one who leads my young team though she herself is also young. She is our Desk Chief. Akshay Redij, I call him Akki, he is Digital Editor and also the director of our company. He and Sachin Waghchoure take care of online editions. Our daily publication is designed, decorated and given shape by Akshata Naik, Omkar and Reshma, they are the Art Directors here. Vikas, Gautam, Parvez they all are take care of office while Pradeep and Vikram handle circulation work. Last but not the least, my office assistant Sachin Gurav, without him we all are handicapped. He makes this place worth sitting; because of him we can execute our duties smoothly. His post may not be big but his role is major. They all make me complete and that is how we are family.
Apart from office core, we have experimented many things like “Editor of the Day”; we invite different personalities from all walks of life and share our experiences and their opinion. We give them chance to live a journalist’s life for a day. Whatever little we earn we also donate for different causes. At the end we all believe in celebrating humanity.
Once again, we all are thankful to you; your guidance is most appreciated.
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