Daily Archives: 24 May 2007

‘The best experience in life is life experience’

Former Washington Post executive editor Ben Bradlee received the 2007 Columbia Journalism Award last week, and told the graduating students:

“The most important thing for a journalist to have, in my view, is life experience. Your [journalism] degree will do you some good, of course—why else would you have come. But what will do you more good is just getting out there and living.

“Schools can teach you how to edit, how to put stories together, and all of that, but they can’t teach you how to think for yourself, how to care about other people, how to make sense of the world around you in your own unique way. Only life experience can do that for you.

“And so wherever you find yourselves next, I hope you will just keep an open mind—to your experience, to the people around you, to everything. You never know where the path will open or where it’s going to lead, but if you know yourself well enough, you’ll know which one is worth following.”

Read the full transcript of his speech here 


Yes. TV 18 is looking at a business newspaper

PRITAM SENGUPTA writes from Delhi: It’s official. After months of speculation, TV18 promoter Raghav Bahl has confirmed that a business newspaper is in the offing, that Home Shopping 18 will be spun off into a separate channel, and that a $100 million fund is on the anvil in London.

In an email sent to the staff of the network on Wednesday, to mark TV18’s 50:50 deal with Viacom, Bahl charts the spectacular growth of the company and adds that a “business newspaper [is] on the drawing board”.

Whether the group will start a paper of its own or acquire an existing brand—the hot money is on Business Standard—Bahl’s email doen’t reveal, but a print foray is a logical trajectory for a group with two business channels (CNBC and Awaaz) in its bouquet.

Wednesday’s email, with the pumped-up subjectline “Your Momentum of Excellence”, pats itself on the back and takes not a few swipes at peers and compatriots.

# With two business channels, two news channels, two music channels, a kids channel, and a general entertainment and a film channel coming up, Bahl says: “Today, the TV18 Network could out-punch even [Rupert Murdoch‘s] Star Network”.

# With five channels in 18 months, he says, Global Broadcast News is bigger and more robust than any of its competitors: “You only have to put GBN’s 5-channel network against NDTV’s 3 channels, Times Now’s 2 channels and TV Today’s 4 channels… We have taken our valuation from one rupee in April 2005 to Rs 2,000 crore.”

# TV18 is the first company among its peers to hit the $one billion market capitalisation. “NDTV is half of TV18’s value, and TV Today is less than a fourth. Why? Once again, because investors like our brands, our execution capabilities, our relentless bottom-line focus, and above all, our business model.”

Also read: Is this man the new media mogul of India?

How to prepare for an interview? Go to the gym

Question number 9 in Guy Kawasaki‘s interview with Penelope Trunk, author of the Brazen Careerist, produces a stellar response, and beer-bellied journalists who take delight/pity in their deskbound lifestyle are warned:

Question: How should I prepare for an interview?

Answer: An interview is a test you can study for. So memorize answers to the fifty most common questions. Most interviewers ask standard variations on standard questions, and there are right answers to these questions.

Whether you are a stripper or a CIA agent, the answer to the question, “What is your weakness?” is a story about how your weakness interfered at work—in a specific situation—and you overcame it.

Most of your other answers should be stories, too. This means you need to make them up before you get to the interview. Stories of your life are memorable. Lists of your life are not. Be memorable if you want to be hired.

Another way to prepare is to go to the gym right before the interview. It doesn’t matter if you never go to the gym—although you should, because people who workout regularly are more successful in their careers.

You should go right before an interview because people judge you first on your appearance, and if do heavy lifting with your back and stomach muscles you will stand up much straighter in the interview. This will make you look more confident, which is half the battle in being judged by appearance.

Read the full interview here: Career guidance for this century