Monday, August 08 2016, 12:41:21
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Lavanya Bahuguna


Talk Journalism: What To Keep In Mind When An Editor Becomes A Publisher

  • JWB Post
  •  July 30, 2016


Talk Journalism 2016 at Jaipur’s Hotel Fairmont is a 3-day affair that promises a rendezvous with journalists like Rahul Dev, Barkha Dutt and PAN India teams of Google, Facebook, and Instagram.

The session ‘When editors become publishers, how do they strike the balance?’ invited for discussion Nikhil Pahwa, Founder of MediaNama; MK Venu, Founding Editor of; and Durga Raghunath, Founder of Juggernaut Books. The super experienced trio spoke about the challenges they, being editors, faced after stepping into the publication business.

Let us tell you one by one what the wizards shared:

Nikhil Pahwa: When you become a Publisher, you are called an Entrepreneur. This is the time you look for outsourced sales. You have to think about tax flows, sales, catch lines, etc. All this to understand and sell your product well. With this, you need to see what time zone you cover, what’s your target audience. As a Journalist, you don’t really care about all this.

Moreover, while dealing with the Writers, you need to be smart and think from the business perspective. When I don’t like somebody’s work, I tell them politely about my decision. This can’t be done over a phone call. I prefer one-to-one conversation. Sometimes, I end up being critical and harsh, but that’s alright. It’s not evil; it’s the feedback we all need.

Durga Raghunath: When you take this big leap, it’s all about survival. For me, it was taking up many roles. As a Publisher, you’re trying to fill the editorial gap. You got to focus on advertising. At FirstPost, I learnt about the various kinds of Advertisers you get to deal with. No matter how easy it is to have your favorite ones onboard, you must consider what your audience prefer. Of course, not all readers can be happy at the same time. And that’s why, in the end, you should know if you want a particular sponsorship or not after evaluating everything.

I am happy how the trends are changing. Earlier we would only see two categories, Fiction and Non-fiction. Today, we have blogs and stories under varieties like short stories, reviews, ratings, etc. People care about the real thing, and it’s better you bring the change in your module whenever needed. The quicker you map your reader’s behaviour, the better.

MK Venu: A few years back, Editors used to think that Publishers have no role in designing the system. There were contradictions. Today, Publishers are equally important and are the decision makers. Their job requires taking the product to its final stage. They’re supposed to have an opinion, what they think about the written piece and give the advice.



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