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Writer: Abid Hasan - Saturday, Dec 15,2012 10:43 PM

Reporter’s Diary: When boss asks, Why Abid?

When I was asked to pen down the Reporter’s Diary for this week, I was quite exhilarated. Reason being: I am completing a year at exchange4media, the media for media, and it has been a rollercoaster ride.

I still remember the day I had joined. I knew what I was supposed to do, at least in the whereabouts of what I was supposed to do, but I would still wonder on-an-off on the specialised, business to business media space that exchange4media operates in. The work seems alright but who reads all this, does this story bother anyone at all. If it does, then who are those people?

The feeling was the same for a few weeks in fact. And then one day, boss arrived from Mumbai and after a 30-minute long meeting, it was all very clear. I remember feeling much more energetic than Baba Ramdev. This was the first meeting I had attended where your key role is to take notes, listen carefully and say, ‘Yes Ma’am’.

Some serious work
Finally I was settling in, work was making sense and life was finding a sensible rhythm. I would go on to say it was all going quite smoothly until ‘digitisation’, by now known as ‘DAS’, entered my life. This term was as new to me as Hindi songs are to my colleague Abhinav (Mohapatra, who writes for Pitch and Pitchonnet.com - Pitch with an accent btw)

In every editorial meeting, ‘one digitisation report from Abid’ was expected, and I was to think through the relevant ideas on daily basis. No matter how much we discussed, how much I read and spoke to people and how many stories I filed in days that followed, the term continued to look as difficult as shorthand in Chinese.

Things were not going my way for a while in a manner of speaking. And then came the phase when just two words changed my attitude towards any work I would find difficult to execute. And the magic words were ‘Why Abid’ – being sent to me all the way from Mumbai, largely on mails. I still get goose bumps with these two words and start looking for appropriate answers because my boss is a bigger perfectionist than Aamir Khan. I know how that sounds but the one thing they don’t teach you in journalism schools is what can happen in editorial discussions.

Thus, began the journey of soaking in and knowing everything about the five Ws and the one H about this industry. The assignment became easier.

This job is like an ocean and my beat, print and broadcasting, is deeper than a woman's heart. Everyday something is happening, somewhere around the corner, and I need to keep a tab because if something goes amiss, then those two words will find me.

The helping hands
In this small journey of completing a year, I have witnessed colleagues come and go, but one lady I know I can always rely upon is Shanta Ma’am. Her entrance in office makes me happier rather than the text message stating ‘your salary and reimbursement has been credited’.

There are others also who supported me throughout this year - Twishy, Deepa (Balasubramanium, the only South Indian girl whose accent I understand), Arshiya and of course Maneka (Tanwani). Maneka is the most polite copy editor I have encountered in the last two years of my overall career.

Print and Broadcasting is the most exciting beat and there is so much more to explore in it. I have a long way to go. Till date only 10 per cent of the industry has been covered by my reports and a large part remains. I pray and strive to complete all that is needed in the time ahead. The ‘DAS’ virus will remain with me till December 2014 at the least but knowing this industry, many more concepts that would first appear to be ‘shorthand in Chinese’ will find way into our edit meets.

Once a fellow colleague enquired how is exchange4media is treating you -- son or step-son. I replied, son-in-law. After all the work, I have been appreciated thrice by the term ‘good job’ and its equivalent in 365 days. But the number of compliments will increase in the coming year. I am going to make sure of that. All geared up for another year!

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