In what is turning out to be a season of journalists taking to entrepreneurship, former World is One News (WION) and DNA Editor-in-Chief Rohit Gandhi is getting ready to launch a new venture called Global Live. On April 19, Gandhi tweeted a video of his under construction studio which will soon come up in New Delhi. While Gandhi’s Twitter and LinkedIn profiles still identify him as the Editor-in-Chief of South Asia International News (SAIN), exchange4media could not ascertain if SAIN and Global Live are associated with each other.
Prior to joining Zee Media in August 2015 to establish WION from the ground up, Gandhi was associated with SAIN for eight years from 2007-15. He worked with a team of 20 professionals producing content for international networks. A text message sent by exchange4media to Gandhi inquiring about the nature and activities of Global Live was not answered. Therefore, it is unclear as to who is backing the initiative in terms of funding and its raison d’être.
But Gandhi’s public pronouncements indicate that the venture will revolve around coverage of international news which will, in turn, be distributed via digital platforms like YouTube. “At Global live, we are working with cutting edge technology to produce Youtube shows, analysing what is happening around us, talking what is not talked about in this mayhem for TRPs. We come with 25 years of experience in journalism and documentary filmmaking,” Gandhi wrote on LinkedIn. With an eye on those who have an interest in the visual medium and keenly follow international and national developments, he is scouting for young trainee journalists and interns skilled in coding, designing, graphics and video editing. That, however, does not mean that Global Live will be run solely by novices since Gandhi alone has over two decades of professional experience.
Last weekend, Gandhi spoke at an event organised by the Department of Management Studies at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT-Delhi) wherein he shared the stage with Pankaj Pachauri. On March 11, the day of the assembly election results, Pachauri launched an app-based news channel named GoNews24*7. The app was formally launched by Pachauri at a Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) summit on April 18. Given the information available in public domain, Pachauri and Gandhi’s products are sure to cross paths for eyeballs in the digital space. As far as GoNews is concerned, it’s a not-for-profit organisation. But the financial motive and scale of operation vis-a-vis Global Live are unknown at this juncture.
Meanwhile, Barkha Dutt also successfully hosted the first edition of ‘Townhall’ with Karan Johar on April 19. Townhall was the first event of Dutt’s creation termed as MoJo. It has been learnt that Dutt envisions MoJo as a “multimedia content and events” company. MoJo will have a website of its own and seek presence on platforms such as print and television through active tie-ups with other media companies. Interestingly, Dutt released her company’s logos on April 15, the same day when Arnab Goswami’s Republic TV went live on social media with their first promo. The latter’s television channel is heavily rumoured to go on air for the first time on the occasion of May Day.
In the events space, Dutt will face tough competition from Shekhar Gupta with whom she had collaborated for ThePrint, earlier. Although she appears to have distanced herself from the news media start-up, Gupta has succeeded in creating a team of senior journalists besides hosting several editions of ‘Off The Cuff’, a televised event belonging to ThePrint which is aired on NDTV. Off The Cuff’s last edition generated headlines due to Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh’s statement against Canadian defence minister Harjit Sajjan, describing him as a “Khalistani sympathiser”. Former Catch News editor-in-chief Shoma Chaudhury is also attempting to gain ground in the events space through her initiative Algebra. Described as the “arts and ideas” club, Algebra has hosted the likes of Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Manish Tewari, Subramanian Swamy and Naseeruddin Shah.