Raushni Bhagia

"How can 'the most opinionated journalist' talk about fine balance": Arnab Goswami

Starting off his address with a question, Goswami had everyone in fits of laughter and left the audience with a sense of passion and pride for journalism.

The nation wanted to know what Arnab Goswami, editor-in-chief, Times Now, felt about his profession and what he thought needed to be done to move from the old ways of journalism to the new media.

"How can 'the most opinionated journalist' talk about fine balance": Arnab Goswami
In a session titled 'The Electronic Media: On Fine Balance?' at FICCI Frames 2014, Goswami, in his characteristic strong delivery, mentioned how old media is dead and dying, and the cardinal principles he follows as a journalist.

Goswami started off his address by mentioning how ironical it was for Jon Sopel, senior anchor, BBC Global News (Goswami's interviewer at the session) to ask the 'most opinionated journalist' to talk about a fine balance. Later, he went on to explain his principles of journalism:

• Journalists should maintain an arm's length distance with politicians. One cannot have a point blank discussion with a politician proving him wrong on screen and chill out with him later. The mental and physical distance, he said, is what has helped him get voice and realise potential.

• Politicians are always touchy about being questioned. That, he said, is no reason why they shouldn't be questioned.

• Opinions are important. He revealed how, way back in 1994, he was told that his point of view was not important and he need not tell his opinions to anybody. On the other hand, as the anchor on a news debate, he gets to deal with all kinds of stories. "I met the brother of a person who died in the submarine while testing it for the soldiers; how can I not have an opinion on the death of a person who could have easily become a corporate?" he questioned.

• The industry is undergoing a change in storytelling. Contrary to what was portrayed in Peepli Live, the media has been a great driver in making people aware of corruption. About a year before the rise of Anna Hazare and the Aam Aadmi Party, the media broke scams like CWG and 2G.

Goswami, in addition, mentioned how this new type of journalism was gradually being implemented by the industry. He also mentioned that even if there are newer channels that have to come up to promote this journalism, it's a good deal.

Goswami stated that he would feel a failure if he didn't get Narendra Modi on his show, before the elections. On a humorous note, he signed off by saying that he is the only person to carry on an hour (read: Newshour) for two hours.

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