Here's why Aaj Tak's Supriya Prasad used to wait for three hours at a bus stand
Managing editor of Aaj Tak, Supriya Prasad, while speaking at IIMC's Media Mahakumbh said that there couldn’t have been a bigger honour for him to have been invited to the same institute as Chief Guest where he was once a student
“I had come to Delhi for the first time to take an IIMC entrance test and whatever I am today is because of my passion, hard work and blessings from my gurus,” said Supriya Prasad, Managing editor of AajTak and India Today news channels.
Prasad, while speaking at the Indian Institute of Mass Communication Media Mahakumbh, said that there couldn’t have been a bigger honour for him to have been invited to the same institute as the Chief Guest where he was once a student.
At Media Mahakumbh while interacting with Abhishek Mehrotra, Deputy Editor, Samachar4Media, Supriya Prasad also spoke about his professional journey as a journalist.
In 1991, Supriya Prasad told that he started his journalistic career as a stringer in Bihar.
"Then I was connected to 'Prabhat News' as a stringer,” he said.
“During the course of time I started looking at journalism closely. After this I came to Delhi in 1994 and enrolled in IIMC. After completing my course in 1995, I joined 'Aaj Tak' and became a member of its launch team. After working here, I joined 'News24' in 2007 and launched the channel where I stayed for four years and after that again I returned to 'Aaj Tak',” said Prasad.
Did you have to work hard during internship in your era as well?
First of all, I would like to say that whenever you get enrolled in a professional institution you should work hard and keep your objective clear. Shortcuts won’t make you successful. Either you can work hard and go ahead or simply score marks to pass in exams. My internship was in Rashtriya Sahara newspaper. I use to go there at 3 pm would work till 12 am. But it use to be really difficult to reach home after midnight. There was no conveyance available to reach bus stand and there was no pick-and-drop service available for us, hence I use to stay back till 2:00 am and take lift from a Compositor. Then I use to wait at the bus stand for around 3 hours and when bus services would begin I use to reach home. I would stay at home till 10:00 am and then leave for All India Radio office where I was interning as well. I used to do two internships because I also wanted to learn about print and radio in-depth.
In today’s times, how can success be achieved in the media industry?
Look, nothing is achieved with through shortcuts. Anything that comes with a shortcut is only for short term. If you do not have the skill to write or speak even recommendations can’t help you.
You have been in the TV industry since then beginning, with the criticism television is receiving what do you think is its future?
Wherever there is good, there is also evil. Everything changes after a particular time. Some people are not ready to accept that time changes. People who watch news, people who listen to news and the ways how news is presented, everything has changed with time. This is the generation of mobile phones and people want to know more and more in lesser time.
Is Social Media replacing television?
No, social media cannot take the place of TV, because the biggest crisis with social media is credibility and trust and unless there is trust, no platform can be successful. People should have faith in your news that what you are reporting is correct.
Have you ever been under pressure politically or by the management?
Look, this kind of pressure does not come when you are involved with a trusted institution. I have worked with two media houses and both have not put me under any pressure. I have never seen political pressure. Sometimes we do get press releases on behalf of the government, there are requests to cover events but that’s it. It can be called 'request' not 'pressure'. I hereby say that there is no pressure on media from the government.
What you are saying is that there is no pressure from the government on any channel?
Not at all, there is no pressure at all. Although journalists might get under pressure for their own reasons, there is no pressure from the government. For any news on Aaj Tak, the government has not put any pressure on whether it should be played or not.
Nowadays what is going on is agenda journalism, how do you look at it?
Look, politics of the party in power and politics of the opposition is not journalism. The basic principle of journalism is unbiased. Therefore, journalists should be unbiased. Journalism never teaches you to be against someone or be with someone. Rather show both sides of the news and 'Aaj Tak' and 'India Today' have always tried the same.
Do you think the journalists have become too aggressive because of being 'active' on social media?
People who have done such work have done some harm to journalism. Be it myself or anyone else, we all vote for a political party and are inclined towards it but by declaring such things on social media, we gradually become a biased journalist. It is very important that when you are doing journalism, you think and work like a journalist.
Are daily soaps also newsworthy?
With the change in the first round of TV journalism, such programs were started. There was a show at that time Kyunki Saans Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi. In that era, people were crazy about it. We thought that there should be a program that tells you what will happen in such shows because people wanted to know. I remember when Anandi was shot in Balika Vadhu we received many calls of people who wanted to know what would happen next. Information about TV serials is not bad.
A journalist-editor is not able to spend time with his/her family, how do you try to keep this balance?
It is very difficult to give time to family. I come home late night, my daughter sleeps by that time. Our holiday takes place on Saturdays and Sundays, but still I go to office on Saturday. I usually take leave on Sundays, but even then, I keep monitoring news at home and wherever I go. There are 10 TVs in my bedroom at present. My family has gotten used to it now.
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