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'There's no need to quit journalism and join politics'

January 20, 2014 16:03 IST

Create your own identity to reach the top, says journalist Ravish Kumar at the Jaipur Literature Festival. Shahnawaz Akhtar reports.  

Unlike some of his counterparts, NDTV journalist Ravish Kumar says he’s not joining politics. 

"There is a change in Indian politics and democracy is evolving but that does not mean you will leave journalism and join politics," said Ravish.  

His colleague Ashutosh (who joined the Aam Admi Party) had claimed that the Indian democracy was at a crucial stage when you cannot just sit and watch the evolution.    

The winner of the Ramnath Goenka Award for Excellence in Journalism, Ravish was in Jaipur to lead a session -- Raj aur Samaj at the Jaipur Literature Festival.

Ravish’s TV shows are popular but it has not been easy for him to do reports on political issues. Some of his reports have been attacked viciously that he has had to stay away from social media platforms several times.

“Earlier, party cadre used to defend its leaders, but now leaders have created fans who troll you. It hurts but that should not stop you from doing what you think is right and should be reported,” said the senior journalist. 

He also feels that the 2014 Lok Sabha election will be difficult for journalists and they could easily be tagged as being biased. “Whenever, one party or person is given more coverage, which happens for many reasons, we get accused of supporting them.”

“How many parties will we support? It is like changing party loyalty everyday,” says Ravish.

Ravish’s career started at NDTV as the one who used to distribute letters. His successful career and fan following is a fascinating story.

“If you don’t follow any format and try to create your own identity, then you can reach the top,” said the maverick reporter on how journalists can grow.

“When you have your own identity you can use different platforms to put forth your view, just like on social media,” Ravish pointed out.

If leaders and celebrities have a following, Ravish has his share of fans too.

“I try not to let success get the better of me. I do not think a reporter could ever be like a celebrity as it will take him away from journalism,” says Ravish. 

Image: NDTV journalist Ravish Kumar Photograph: Chandra Mohan Aloria 

Shahnawaz Akhtar in Jaipur