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