We are constantly obsessing about the reader: Rajiv Lochan, MD & CEO, The Hindu Group

As The Hindu turns 140, Lochan tells us about how the daily has not only survived but also thrived all these years by balancing the old with the new

Neethu Mohan 05-October-2018

The launch of The Hindu newspaper on September 20, 1878 was indeed a turning point in the history of Indian journalism. It was started with an aim to support the campaign of Sir T Muthuswamy Iyer for a judgeship at the Madras High Court and to oppose and counter the propaganda against him by the British Press. The then eight-page weekly was published by six individuals - four law students and two teachers - T. Rangacharya, P. V. Rangacharya, D. Kesava Rao Pantulu and N. Subba Rao Pantulu, led by G. Subramania Iyer and M. Veeraraghavacharyar. The newspaper’s ideology was rooted in fervent patriotism and commitment towards the common public. The Hindu was one among the many newspapers launched during the freedom movement period, but today it is one which withstood the course of time and evolution in print media, unlike its contemporaries. The edits, articles and op-ed columns published in the newspaper over these 140 years became referral materials. The campaigns launched by The Hindu focused on raising awareness among people.

As The Hindu celebrates 140 glorious years of being in the business, exchange4media spoke with Rajiv Lochan, Managing Director & CEO, The Hindu Group, on the group’s journey over the years, campaigns run by the group and the road map ahead. Excerpts:

The Hindu @140, how has the journey been so far?
It is a rare privilege that readers have reposed their trust in us over the past 140 years. From an initial print run of 80 copies in 1878 to nearly 16 lakhs certified copies in circulation every day and a readership of almost 60 lakhs across the country, the journey has been filled with highs and lows. Perhaps what is most gratifying is that our sense of purpose and duty to our readers has allowed us to withstand the challenges that have come our way. As we turn 140, we recommit to our readers and resolve to work hard to retain their trust.

Unlike its contemporaries when the newspaper first went to print, The Hindu lasted the course. What are the factors you attribute this growth to?
The Hindu has always focused on its sense of purpose and duty as the primary reason-to-be and focused on honing our strengths – credible and high quality journalism, unmatched technical excellence, a focus to deliver value to advertisers and a commitment to working with all our stakeholders fairly.
We are constantly obsessing about the reader. Our founders started the newspaper with the objective of “giving voice to the natives” and we have stayed true to that mission over the past 140 years. We have also been clear over the years that the viability of the newspaper depends both on our readers’ loyalty and our ability to deliver value to advertisers. Our code of editorial and business values ensure that we consistently serve our readers and advertisers with their interest at the core of our mission.

What are strategies followed by The Hindu in these 140 years to understand and analyse the need of the readers?

The Hindu has always sought to serve its readers based on their needs – whether it was using an aircraft to deliver newspapers to the neighbouring Southern states in the 1960s to introducing pioneering technological innovation to substantially enhance the experience of our readers to reinventing the content and design every 10-15 years. This is the only media house in the country with a Readers’ Editor, who has the mandate to be informed about and relay the readers’ perspective, regardless of the editorial stand. A unique 1-800 number is published daily inviting feedback from readers - from content to delivery. The Editor meets with readers in interactive forums across the country to get insights into what their changing needs are. The website and apps have been designed keeping in mind reader experience, winning laurels at WAN IFRA’s Digital Media Awards. In the last two years, a Reader Intelligence Unit has helped gather consumer insights on their needs beyond news/information to shopping patterns, digital usage, and brand preferences, which is providing advertisers with valuable insights on tailoring their value propositions to various reader categories (across demographics, geographies, etc.).

The campaigns by The Hindu namely Behave. The Youth Are Watching, #SundayIsForReading were major hits, tell us about some other major campaigns by The Hindu and the influence it has made on the readers?

These were indeed memorable campaigns! Behave was the voice of the youth with a hard-hitting message to the country’s political class, while #SundayIsForReading encouraged people of all ages to spend quality time reading. Another campaign that still gets an instant connect with a range of audiences (readers and non-readers) is Stay Ahead of the Times – every situation and copy in that series was a hit because it was extremely relatable.

The Hindu has always been focused on raising awareness and instigating action on civic and social issues. A Bengaluru-focused campaign in 2017 called Spirit of Bengaluru had an emotion-stirring song by the Kannada artist Raghu Dixit showing the two sides of the city, the evergreen paradise interrupted by the bustling woes of traffic and garbage, using a mobile auto-rotate innovation.

At a time when many are questioning the purpose and value of the printed word, The Hindu ran a campaign #FortheLoveofPrint as its salute to the passion and diligence of the different people who come together every single day to curate, print and deliver the newspaper. The Hindu, as a newspaper of record for 140 years, has never been known to shy away from putting to print both great and small moments of history. #FortheLoveofPrint explores the underlying commitment and emotion that got them started and continues to exist today, endearing this newspaper with its readers.

The most recent Get South Smart with The Hindu campaign showcases the newspaper’s understanding of its readers. As the most read English newspaper in South India, The Hindu has been studying the purchase preferences as well as behaviours of its readers through its Reader Intelligence Unit, and is now helping advertisers fine-tune their campaigns for more effective reach and returns across South India.

What are the key focus areas and goals for the next decade?

The news consumers’ requirements, preferences and behaviours are evolving rapidly in today’s age of information overload. Increasingly readers are seeking trusted news sources for perspectives and analyses (less so for breaking news) on the go, in quickly digestible formats – willingness to pay for content that is relevant to their needs is also developing. We believe that the future in the digital space is through a smart balance of advertising, subscription and commerce revenues and we are experimenting extensively with products, pricing models and consumer acquisition.

The Southern states are growing 30% faster than other states in GDP terms, consumers in the South are better educated, better informed and more importantly consume more news than their fellow citizens around the country. Not surprisingly, we are seeing increasing advertiser appetite to connect emotionally with the South Indian consumer in order to position their brands for growth. Insights from our Reader Intelligence Unit on consumer preferences for e-commerce, FMCG product consumption, durables purchase considerations are helping advertisers understand the drivers of purchase to skew their media planning and communications for better outcomes. The Hindu Group’s combined assets, beyond the English newspaper, including vernacular publications, 500+ curated events, access to 3000+ schools and 1000+ colleges across the country, a vast vendor delivery network, unparalleled digital and social media reach and engagement have helped in reaching and connecting with the relevant target segments through holistic solutions to the brands’ challenges in the South Indian markets.

Our goal is to serve both readers and advertisers with the same devotion and purpose as we have for the past 140 years through our continued commitment to the profession of journalism, while smartly connecting audience with brands.

Senior Reporter, exchange4media, Bangalore Neethu reports on media, marketing and advertising industry. In the past she has reported on start-ups, education and health sector for over 6 years.


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The Indian Express unveils new brand identity

The rebranding will focus on 3 main areas: Look and Feel, Navigation, and Context

exchange4media Staff 16 hours ago


The Indian Express has announced its rebranding by unveiling a new masthead logo, as well as new and enhanced features.

According to a post addressed to readers on their website, the media group stated, “From a masthead logo that had three elements -- the pen, flame and the brand name -- we have now refined it to have one primary purpose in the masthead and a strong secondary element to communicate authority that stems from legacy.”

The company also said that it aims to expand its reach through print, web and app, by “By furthering our powerful, original journalism and making it come alive through images, audio and video across diversifying coverage” thus, enhancing the user experience.

According to the website post, the rebranding will focus on three main areas: Look and Feel, Navigation and Context.

A new look, including, new typography, which aims to clearly communicate the brand's “core values of fairness, independence and transparency” has also been introduced.

Enhanced navigation will feature clearly defined showcases for breaking news stories, photography, long-form, video, and opinion. The website will also feature widgets to help users discover more.

Widgets have also been added to the Home, Section and Rediscovery categories on mobile and the app, according to the time of day, the week and context.

The number of ads has also been reduced with an aim to make advertising more impactful and clutter-free for users.


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The romance of print continues in automotive sector: Vivek B Srivatsa, Tata Motors

e4mConclave: Fireside chat between Vivek B Srivatsa and Vikram Sakhuja

exchange4media Staff 1 day ago


“We wouldn’t be able to do justice to interconnectedness if we don’t assign very precise roles to each media,” said Vivek B Srivatsa, Head-Marketing, Passenger Cars, Tata Motors, at e4mConclave on Friday.


Srivatsa was speaking to Vikram Sakhuja, Group CEO, Madison Media & OOH, Madison World, during a fireside chat on ‘Power of Print’. 

Watch the session here  

Edited excerpts of the conversation:

Tata Motors has been a very strong believer of integrated media and you take pains to say that it's not multimedia, it's not silos, but it has to be interconnected. Tell us about this interconnectedness of media that you look for in your plans?


Interconnectedness is a cliché, but many of us don't really follow it. We have to come to interconnectedness right from the stage of creating the creative brief and take it through the end of the campaign. At Tata Motors, we have been pushing this quite a lot. But I can say confidently that sticking to this is really hard.


Do you think you are enable to assign roles to different mediums?


We wouldn’t be able to do justice to interconnectedness if don’t assign very precise roles to each media.


Since we are talking about print, I can say that there is no better way to showcase a car other than a full-page print ad right below the masthead. So, I think this is that one element of print that we auto motors marketers keep dreaming of. There are other elements also in other mediums. Like, television has a lot of emotions. Also, today, digital does more and more selling part. Thanks to the digital medium, we can cut and slice a customer profile very precisely. But the romance of print continues very much in the automotive sector.


Print provides you credibility, localisation, forum for presenting new news and launches and also acts as an antidote to fake news. These are some of the reasons why people use print. Is there any stick out for you more than others?


While I just alluded to romance of print, it's not that simple. I think a lot of hard work goes into deciding what kind of a market, publication or print media deserves what kind of creative approach. To me, what works in magazine has to be completely different from what you do in a daily. It also changes dramatically market-wise. I would advise marketers to think about the content and tone before you go into newspapers. I would say it changes from city to city, publication to publication and product to product.


What has been the learnings in terms of interconnectedness? Does print also impact digital activity?

Lead generated from ads is one thing. We have seen a huge spike in the number of visitors on the website after a newspaper ad and there has been turnaround of quite a few lead from there. We have to multi-dimensionalise what to expect out of our print communication.


If there is a crunch time and you have to make trade off, which media will be the first to face the axe?


I can say that every day is a crunch time for us. This year, 50 per cent of our spends were on print. It's not that we are doing out-and-out call to action advertising. We have done quite a few launches as well.  


Do you think large size ads work more than small ones? How important is the position of the ad: front page versus inner pages?


Yes, large size ads work better. The position of an ad is very important. It took quite a long time for us to reach the front page of the Times of India. I think other maketers feel the same way. Having limited money, I tell my team to focus on the page position rather than the size.


Do you think regional publications work better for you than national ones?


The print media is growing because of regional. Economy, in fact, is boosted by smaller towns and regional languages. The future is in going regional.


How can one extract creative juices out of print?


I am a strong believer of the classic advertising approach. We need to give the creative agency some time to really sink in and get a feel of the challenge. Follow a process, make a disciplined brief to your creative agency and give them time.


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Biggest challenge for media today is to retain its credibility: Arun Jaitley

The Finance Minister was speaking on the occasion of National Press Day.

exchange4media Staff 1 day ago


Finance Minister Arun Jaitley believes that technology has made press censorship impossible as it does not permit any kind of restraint. 


Jaitely said this while speaking at an event held on the occasion of National Press Day recently. He talked about press freedom and how technology has ensured free speech.


"Your free speech can't be in danger if you are criticising seven days a week. You have multiple forums. The technology has made censorship impossible. It has made pressuring impossible. You can pressurise one or two media houses but not thousands. Technology does not permit any kind of prior restraint today. You will get access to information through various means that technology provides," he said.


Jaitley also spoke about the 'price page policy' brought by the previous government.


"In 1974, there was a move that the size of newspaper should be restricted in national economic interests because newsprint was expensive. Every paper was given certain number of pages that they could publish. And if you publish news, you could not publish advertisements. But ads keep the news alive by financially supporting the publication. So cutting down advertisement is effectively a denial of your right to publish news," the minister said.


Speaking about the challenges facing the media today, Jaitley said, “The biggest challenge today is how the media retains its own credibility so that it continues to become a maker of public opinion.”


"These days, it is fashionable to say it's another Emergency. Even if Emergency were ever to be re-imposed today, it would collapse for the simple reason that one of the strengths of Emergency was press censorship and technology doesn't permit press censorship now," he added.



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Jury Meet of Media & Media Education Summit held in New Delhi

The jury meet was chaired by Padma Shri Dr. Pritam Singh, Former Director, IIM Lucknow, MDI Gurgaon.

exchange4media Staff 2 days ago

Jury Meet

The jury meet of Media & Media Education Summit was held in New Delhi on 17th November.


The jury members included: Padma Shri Dr. Pritam Singh, Former Director, IIM Lucknow, MDI Gurgaon, Dr. Surbhi Dahiya, Course Director & Associate Professor English Journalism, IIMC, Avinash Pandey, COO, ABP Network, Dr. Annurag Batra, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief, BW Businessworld and exchange4media Group, Alok Mehta, Former President, Editors Guild of India and Sajal Mukerjee, Director Apeejay Institute of Mass Communication.


The Media & Media Education Summit has received overwhelming response in its first year. The jury received over 100 across categories like-- Prof. KM Shrivastav Award, Lifetime Achievement Award (Male), Lifetime Achievement Award (Female), Contribution to Media Education, Visionary Leader in Media Education, Best Media Educator (Professor), Best Media Educator (Associate Professor) and Best Media Educator (Assistant Professor).


Speaking about the jury process, Dr. Singh said, “This is a great initiative and a much needed one. We had intense discussions while choosing the winners and it was a closely contested process.”


The Media & Media Education Summit will be held on 22nd November in India International Centre, New Delhi.


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Press Council of India to honour winners of Excellence in Journalism today

N Ram, eminent journalist and Chairman the Hindu Publishing Group, has been selected under the prestigious award category of ‘Raja Ram Mohan Roy award’.

exchange4media Staff 4 days ago

pci awards

On the occasion of National Press Day today, the Press Council of India will honor winners of the National Awards for Excellence in Journalism.


Among the winners, N Ram, eminent journalist and Chairman the Hindu Publishing Group, has been selected under the prestigious award category of ‘Raja Ram Mohan Roy award’. Ruby Sarkar, Chief Correspondent, Deshbandhu, Bhopal, and Rajesh Parshuram Joshte of Daily Pudhari, Ratnagiri, will be jointly awarded in the category of ‘Rural Journalism’.


V.S Rajesh, Deputy Editor, Kerala Kaumudi, has been selected under the award category of ‘Developmental Reporting’ while Subhash Paul of Rashtriya Sahara, will be awarded in the category of ‘Photo Journalism-Single News Picture’.


Mihir Singh, Photo Journalsit, Punjab Kesari, Delhi, has been selected in the category of “Photo Journalsim-Photo Feature’. P. Narasimha, Cartoon Editor, Nava Telangana, Hyderabad, has been selected for the award category of “Best Newspaper Art: covering cartoons, caricature and illustrations’.


The Press Council of India, as the only statutory authority entrusted with the responsibility of encouraging the media to pursue its duties following the dictum of “freedom with responsibility”, instituted these awards in the year 2012 to encourage journalists, photojournalists, freelancers to excel in print journalism.





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The Printers Mysore appoint new head of digital business

Arpan Chatterjee has been designated Chief Operating Officer - Digital  and will report to TPM's Chief Executive Officer, Karthik Balakrishnan

exchange4media Staff 6 days ago


The Printers Mysore, publisher of Deccan Herald and Prajavani newspapers and Sudha and Mayura magazines, has appointed Arpan Chatterjee as its new head of digital business.

Chatterjee, who joins The Printers Mysore from The Hindu Group of publications, has been designated Chief Operating Officer - Digital  and will report to TPM's Chief Executive Officer Karthik Balakrishnan. 

He has over 20 years of experience across leadership roles in Indian media companies and new economy businesses. He has previously worked for companies such as NaiDunia, Webdunia, Dice Inc, Andale Inc and The Times of India. He has been associated with industry bodies like MRUC (Media Research Users Council) & RSCI (Readership Studies Council of India). ). He has done his executive education from IIM Calcutta.

TPM CEO said Chatterjee would play a pivotal role in driving the organisation forward on the digital initiatives the group is undertaking. "We are looking to capitalise on our strengths as a legacy publisher to build a print and digital media business for the 21st century media consumer. Arpan's on boarding goes to the core of our transformation, where he will drive our digital business vision," said Balakrishnan.

Chatterjee said, "I'm very excited about the opportunity to chart a digital transformation for one of India's most respected media companies. The company has a very compelling vision of its digital future and I look forward to working with all the stakeholders in bringing this vision to life.”


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Aggression in media language cause of worry and threat to peace, say experts

At the Media for Humanity and Peace Conclave in New Delhi, media experts spoke on fake news, role of media to ensure peace, and much more

Ruhail Amin 1 week ago

Media for Humanity and Peace Conclave

At the Media for Humanity and Peace Conclave, seasoned journalists spoke about the factors that have made media an active agent of hate and a tool to threaten peace.

Prem Rawat, International Peace Ambassador during his inaugural keynote pointed out the necessity to take active participation in bringing lasting peace. “We have to be like the proverbial candle to light up the lives of others who are less privileged and this is the only way for lasting peace, and media plays a critical role in that,” he said.

Speaking about the tough job that media was doing in a tough environment, Dr. Annurag Batra, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief, BW Businessworld and exchange4media said, “Media is doing a tough job in tough circumstances and despite that international networks like CNN etc. spend around 50 per cent of their budget on content. In India, the average money spent on content is less than 10 per cent and 45 per cent is still spent on distribution.”

He also spoke about the issue of fake news and about its impact on media, “The biggest threat today is fake news and media is not creating fake news, in fact it is at the receiving end of fake news.”

Veteran journalist Saeed Naqvi in his address underlined the role media needs to play to ensure peace. He spoke about the cacophony and the agenda driven journalism that has become a lethal mix and threat to peace. “One of the biggest crises today is the total loss of credibility of media and this is posing a big threat to our attempts to have a society that is not divided on trivial issues, but unfortunately we have all become victims of this kind of media and continue to be so.”

K G Suresh, Director General, Indian Institute of Mass Communication lauded the role that media has played but also pointed out to the selective reporting that some media houses do to distort truth. “I have extensively covered Kashmir and what I have found is that some media houses are giving too much importance to handful of stone pelters at the cost of ignoring larger issues that concern the population. And this kind of reporting undermines the larger story which is beyond violence. We need to report what is going on the ground and then only change will come”, stated Suresh.

“I’m also worried about the aggression in the language of media today. We are calling for war and that is not the true language of media and such language is purely rhetorical and not substantive,” he further added.

Sheetal Rajput, Deputy Editor, News 24 raised the issue related to primetime show formats and argued that there was no substantial evidence that debate formats only attract audiences and get the TRPs. In her view such assumptions need to be changed and challenged.


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The Hindu Group's Sportstar turns 40

A 108-page issue was released to commemorate this milestone

exchange4media Staff 1 week ago


Sportstar, the multi-sport magazine published every fortnight by The Hindu Group in India, is celebrating its 40thanniversary. A 108-page issue was released to commemorate this milestone. 



"In such an age, it’s a challenge for a sports magazine to stay relevant, but throughout our journey we have reinvented and re-vigourised our content to suit the palate of the changing times. We have been steadfast in offering our readers what they want to read, taking them closer to their sporting icons. Our journey has been made memorable because of the love and encouragement of our readers – who also include the top sporting personalities of the country. We want to thank our readers with this collector's edition of the magazine," says Ayon Sengupta, Editor, Sportstar.


On July 1978 the first issue of The Sportstar was published with tennis legend Bjorn Borg on the cover. Priced at Re 1, the magazine offered a ringside view to the world of domestic and international sport.


The 108-page issue will have long commentary pieces from some of the most-experienced sportswriters of the country doing a deep-dive into the growth and health of games like cricket, football, hockey, tennis and a few more. There will also be selected short interviews from 40 great Indian personalities – like Sachin Tendulkar, Kapil Dev, PV Sindhu, Dhanraj Pillay, Abhinav Bindra – talking about their love for the game. Famous columnists – Sunil Gavaskar, Greg Chappell, Brian Glanville, Geet Sethi, Karun Chandhok, Sunil Chhetri – too pen some special odes. There is also a time-line of 40 years, highlighting the top Indian sporting moment from every year of existence.


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Fortune magazine sold to Thai businessman for $150 million

The 88-year-old celebrated publication is getting a new owner for the second time in a year. Meredith bought Fortune in January this year.

exchange4media Staff 1 week ago


US-based publisher Meredith has announced that it has decided to sell Fortune magazine for $150 million to Fortune Media Group Holdings Limited owned by Thai businessman Chatchaval Jiaravanon, according to media reports. The celebrated publication is getting a new owner for the second time in a year. Meredith had bought 88-year-old Fortune as part of its acquisition of New York giant Time Inc. in January itself.

Chatchaval Jiaravanon is the son of Sumet Jiaravanon, Executive Chairman of Thailand’s biggest conglomerate, Charoen Pokphand Group. The group is a Bangkok-based conglomerate with businesses in telecommunications, food, retail, automotive, finance, and pharmaceuticals.

According to media reports, Jiaravanon has said that he plans to increase investment in Fortune’s “digital capabilities, geographic expansion, and editorial talent.”

“Our vision is to establish Fortune as the world’s leading business media brand, with an always-on reach and global relevance,” he was quoted as saying in a statement by some media reports.

Clifton Leaf will reportedly remain the Editor-in-Chief of the publication and Alan Murray will remain its President and become CEO.

According to reports, Meredith will continue to provide short-term business services to Fortune. Meredith and Fortune Media Group Holdings Limited have entered into an agreement under which Meredith will continue to provide services such as corporate sales, consumer marketing, subscription fulfillment, paper purchasing and printing.

Fortune is known for its franchises including the Fortune 500, 100 Best Companies to Work For, Most Powerful Women, World’s Most Admired Companies, and 40 Under 40, among others.


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#MeToo: US-based journalist alleges MJ Akbar raped her 23 yrs ago: The Washington Post

Pallavi Gogoi, chief business editor of National Public Radio (NPR), a Washington-based American media organisation, says incident happened in India

exchange4media Staff 03-November-2018

mj akbar

A US-based editor of a leading media house has accused former Union minister M J Akbar of raping her in India 23 years ago, saying the "brilliant journalist" used his position as the editor-in-chief of a newspaper to prey on her, an allegation denied by his lawyer, Sandeep Kapur.

The latest allegation of rape was levelled against him by Pallavi Gogoi, the chief business editor of National Public Radio (NPR), a Washington-based American media organisation.

She has detailed the "most painful memories" of her life in an article in The Washington Post.

"What I am about to share are the most painful memories of my life. I have shelved them away for 23 years," she said, detailing how Akbar physically and mentally harassed her for years while working at the Asian Age newspaper from New Delhi to Mumbai to Jaipur to London.

Gogoi said she was 22 when she joined the Asian Age. She was star-struck working under Akbar. She was mesmerised by his use of language, his turns of phrase and took all the verbal abuse. At 23, Gogoi became the editor of the op-ed page which was a big responsibility at a young age, she said.

"But I would soon pay a very big price for doing a job I loved. It must have been late spring or summer of 1994, and I had gone into his office - his door was often closed. I went to show him the op-ed page I had created with what I thought were clever headlines. He applauded my effort and suddenly lunged to kiss me. I reeled. I emerged from the office, red-faced, confused, ashamed, destroyed," she alleged.

The second incident was a few months later when she was summoned to Mumbai to help launch a magazine, she claimed.

"He called me to his room at the fancy Taj hotel, again to see the layouts. When he again came close to me to kiss me, I fought him and pushed him away. He scratched my face as I ran away, tears streaming down. That evening, I explained the scratches to a friend by telling her I had slipped and fallen at the hotel," she wrote in The Post.

When she got back to Delhi, Akbar threatened to kick her out of the job if she resisted him again. But she didn't quit the paper, she said.

One story took her to a remote village a few hundred miles from Delhi and the assignment was to end in Jaipur. When she checked back, Akbar said she could come discuss the story in his hotel in Jaipur, she claimed.

"In his hotel room, even though I fought him, he was physically more powerful. He ripped off my clothes and raped me," she alleged, adding that instead of reporting him to the police, she was filled with shame.

"I didn't tell anyone about this then. Would anyone have believed me? I blamed myself," Gogoi said in The Post

Gogoi claimed that Akbar continued to defile her sexually, verbally, emotionally. He would burst into loud rages in the newsroom if he saw her talking to male colleagues.

"I cannot explain today how and why he had such power over me, why I succumbed. Was it because I was afraid of losing my job? I just know that I hated myself then. And I died a little every day," she said.

She said that she continued to look for reporting assignments that would take her far away.

Gogoi recalled covering the December 1994 elections. For her excellent work, Akbar said he would send her either to the US or the UK as a reward.

"I thought that finally, the abuse would stop because I would be far away from the Delhi office. Except the truth was that he was sending me away so I could have no defences and he could prey on me whenever he visited the city," she said.

Gogoi alleged that Akbar once worked himself into a rage in the London office after he saw her talking to a male colleague. He hit her and went on a rampage, throwing things from the desk at her - a pair of scissors or whatever he could get his hands on. She ran away and hid in Hyde Park.

"I was in shreds - emotionally, physically, mentally," she said.

Akbar summoned her back to Mumbai after which she left the job and joined Dow Jones in New York.

"Today, I am a US citizen. I am a wife and mother. I found my love for journalism again. I picked up my life, piece by piece. My own hard work, perseverance and talent led me from Dow Jones to Business Week, USA Today the Associated Press and CNN. Today, I'm a leader at National Public Radio. I know that I do not have to succumb to assault to have a job and succeed.”

"Over the years, I have not brought up Akbar in conversations. I've always felt that Akbar is above the law and justice doesn't apply to him. I felt he would never pay the price for what he had done to me," she said in The Post.

Calling all allegations as "baseless and wild" Akbar has filed a lawsuit against one of the journalists who have spoken out against him. "It doesn't surprise me. He feels he is entitled to make up his own version of 'truth' today, just like he felt entitled to our bodies then," Gogoi added.

Akbar, 67, who resigned from Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Union Council of Ministers in October after multiple women came out with accounts of alleged sexual harassment, has filed a criminal defamation case against one of them.


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