Daily Archives: 29 May 2007

VINOD MEHTA on what to read, how to write

Vinod Mehta is India’s Last Great Editor.

As puppy publishers, egged on by tobacco peddlers, softdrinks salesmen, and milkpowder accountants with calculators, strip Indian journalism of its relevance and conscience with a vengeance, the editor-in-chief of Outlook holds a mirror to what could have been.

And as puppet editors sway with the wind and sidle up to the powers-that-be for Rajya Sabha seats, ambassadorships, advisory posts, and the other loaves of office that politicians dangle before salivating journalists, Mehta’s fierce independence is an object lesson of what should be.

Former editor of the men’s magazine Debonair; founder-editor of India’s original weekly newspaper, The Sunday Observer; and editor of The Independent and The Pioneer dailies, Mehta is a master brewer who, over 30 years, has perfected the art of making the important interesting, and shown that good journalism needn’t be bad business.

Alive and articulate, quirky and contrarian, and never boring, Mehta can also write. In this 12-minute churumuri video, the 63-year-old editor talks on the critical reading journalists and journalism students should do; and on how they should approach the craft of writing.

Cross-posted on churumuri


A pro is one who doesn’t get bogged down

Admit it. There are times when you are struck by a writer’s block, and stuck for ideas, stuck for motivation. How do you get around it? Either you can sit around moaning hoping for things to improve, or you can click your mouse and pursue your muse.

A group writing project came up with 37 sources of inspiration. Here are a few that apply to our profession, such as it is.

Brian Auer: Inspiration for photography

Ronald Huereca: Inspiration for blogging

Tara: Inspiration for design and advertising

Marcia: Inspiration to write

Yvonne Russell: Inspiration to write

Also read the 32 other sources of inspiration

The New York Times has left the building

Chronicling history—and chronicling history in the making—is a vital function of the media. But it is not adequately done in Indian media, where the accent, partly dictated by manpower, partly by finances, and mostly by lack of vision, is on the here and now.

The New York Times is soon to decamp from its Times Square offices to a new tower at Eighth Avenue between 40th and 41st Streets. The legendary photographer Annie Leibovitz follows in the footsteps of other pioneering photographers like Margaret Bourke-White to document “the interplay of men, beams and dreams.”

View the full slideshow here: Men, beams and dreams