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I am still a work in progress: Aroon Purie

29-August-2011
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I am still a work in progress: Aroon Purie

A lively interaction between Aroon Purie, Founding Chairman and Editor-in-Chief, India Today Group, and Shekhar Gupta, Editor-in-Chief, The Indian Express and Jury Chairman, enba 2011, was the highlight of the evening at the fourth e4m News Broadcasting Awards, besides the focus on the Award winners. It was an interaction full of hitherto unknown anecdotes as well as insight into the media industry in India, when the two industry stalwarts got talking…

Purie was conferred the Lifetime Achievement Award at enba 2011 for his contribution to the media industry and leading a media behemoth like the India Today Group.

Gupta started off on a lighter vein remarking, “You had the misfortune of interviewing 28 years ago and even hired me and then it took you 18 years to get rid of me!” He then noted, “You had once quipped that ‘we (print) are the cockroaches of media and will always survive’. The irony is that you have now moved on to many other forms of media. Are you still a printwala at heart?”

To this, Purie replied, “I believe in moving with the times. Regardless of which media it is, today content is king and there are exciting times ahead.”

He further said, “This is the age of convergence and a journalist today needs to work across mediums and not be limited to only print or TV.”

To Gupta’s question on “When did you think of going multi-media?” Purie replied, “The real tipping point came when mobile phones came into action. It was a medium that gave you news as and when you wanted. The new consumer is more attuned to that medium now.”

When asked whether he saw a generational shift in journalists now, Purie remarked that television news was a very young medium. The young journalists have not gone through the rigours of print. But it had become imperative to develop domain expertise, be known for one’s work in a particular domain.”

To this, Gupta quipped that while domain expertise was important, in India, more importance was given to designations. Purie noted that in coming times hierarchies would break down. “The cabin culture is disappearing and we are seeing flattening out of organisations.”

When asked “What lies ahead?” Purie’s reply was, “Convergence of print, television, radio, digital”. “There is need to create a news turbine, whereby content is generated by the minute and putting that on multiple platforms.”

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