16-03-2017 09:30 AM
Sukhada Khandge | My Indian Dream      81
As Garima Mishra, features editor, Indian Express, Pune talks to My Indian Dream, she discusses about her love for print journalism and how she loves to meet different people and explore their stories.
With more than 15 years in the field of print Journalism, Garima Mishra is known in media for her breaking stories.
Her timely interesting stories and unique knack of writing has made many other media professionals also to follow her stories. As she heads the Pune features team of Indian Express as Features Editor, initially she started her career as a page designer. She discovered her love for reporting and writing as she was motivated to take it ahead by her editor. Among her many interesting stories which she covered in her journalistic stint, few of the them worth mentioning are about the RTI which revealed that “no other candidate was approached for the post when Gajendra Chauhan was appointed as the chairman of Film and Television Institute of India (FTII)”. Another interesting story was on Department of Posts' decision of discontinuing the stamps of denomination of rupees five from July 2015, post BJP came into power in May 2014. Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi were the only people who featured on the Rs 5 stamps. This was again an RTI story that came into the limelight and television, web followed this news. Garima's RTI story on FTII chairman post also fetched her monthly Express Excellence Award from Indian Express.
She talks to My Indian Dream about different aspects of journalism, being a woman journalist and on woman empowerment.
Q: How did you start your career as a reporter?
A: I think the flair for writing was somewhere deep down within me but was waiting for the right medium. I started my career with Indian Express (IE) as a page designer over 16 years ago. During the earlier years, I think I was subconsciously learning journalism by observing other reporters, their way of working and going through their stories. One day, I happened to suggest a story idea to our Features Editor (Sunanda Mehta, who is currently Resident Editor of IE, Pune), which I assumed she may get it done from some reporter. However, to my surprise she said, "Why don't you write it?"
Though I was nervous, I gave my best shot that time, given that it was my first story. When the story came out in the print I noticed that though it was edited, there weren't many changes. That gave me the confidence to write and I started doing more and more stories alongside page designing. To brush up my writing skills further and also feed my interest in literature, along with the job, I pursued Masters in English Literature from Nowrosjee Wadia College.
Now when I look back, I feel if it wasn't the encouragement of my boss at the right time, things would have been different.
Q: What do you like about Journalism?
A: In the past, I have been a part of the Marketing Support Cell of the Indian Express, Pune, wherein I worked for complimentary magazines like Good Health, Vigil, Riding High, Ambience and Herself. I have had the benefits of working in different departments which has helped me develop skills like writing, editing and coordinating pages. The good part about journalism is that one grows with each story not just in terms of writing skills but also internally. Each story teaches you something, leaves you enriched with some knowledge and adds to your overall perspective about things. One may not get a 'breaking' story every day but that's something which makes this profession exciting – one needs to be on the toes all the time and keep ears and eyes open.
Q: Your take on Women Empowerment and Women’s Day
A: Of course, I do believe in women empowerment and strongly feel that women need all the encouragement not just from their family but also from the society and the country to help them show their true potential and progress. The qualities that women are gifted with make them deserving to be celebrated every single day.
On the face of it, the concept of 'Women's Day' sounds very nice and attractive, especially in the metro cities. Everyone makes a big deal out of it on social media, WhasApp etc. The restaurants, multiplexes and salons offer discounts on food, drinks, movies, spa and what not. There's some or the other commercial aspect attached to most 'Women's Day' events.
But how many corporates or NGOs come forward to honor the underprivileged women? Like Women who are homeless, a slum dweller, sex workers, those who work as housemaids, rag pickers or construction laborers. I have serious doubt if they even know that a concept like 'Women's Day' exists in this world.
Also, when one looks at the disturbing reports of atrocities against women then the concept of 'Women's Day' appears like a big farce.
Q: Editor is considered an important person in the life of Journalist. How was your experience while you worked with a woman boss?
A: It would be a sexist thing to say that women bosses are more understanding or approachable. Just like films can either be good or bad, bosses can be either good or bad too, and this has got nothing to do with their gender. I have heard of women bosses being nasty and male bosses being very understanding, accommodating, and vice versa. I strongly feel that in order to succeed in any career, other than hardwork and luck, one also needs a leader or mentor who shows faith in you and motivates you in the right manner.
So, if you ask me how is it to work under a female boss (Sunanda Mehta), I would say it's been an extremely pleasant, enriching and learning experience, not just because she's a woman but because of the fact that as a leader, she (Sunanda Mehta) encourages the entire team to push themselves and give their best.
Q: Media is constantly changing, and print is considered one of the traditional mass media against 24X7 news channel and web journalism. Have you ever attracted to other mediums?
A: Not really, I started with print journalism and it was a conscious choice. I would love to continue the same. I feel that even while other mediums are faster still the essence of reporting and writing is intact in print and this is exactly what I like about print. I feel that faster medium kills the depth of story and reporting is compromised to some extent.
Apart from this, working with IE has always been encouraging as the work culture here allows you to explore different beats and there are no boundaries for reporting.