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Making headlines
PTI
October 30, 2004
First Published: 15:11 IST(30/10/2004)
Last Updated: 16:06 IST(30/10/2004)

They are the faces you see on television every night. Even if you can’t always put a name to the face. The explosion of TV news channels has meant that a whole new generation of anchors and reporters has come of age in the last two years. Some of them are astonishingly young. Almost all of them are in their twenties.

A few have been on TV for only a year or so. But such is the power of the medium that they’re already familiar faces; people we welcome into our living rooms every evening.

The last big explosion in TV news – when NDTV supplied programming to the old Star News – led to the emergence of many of the veterans of today: the Barkhas, Sonias, Vikrams and Rajdeeps. But such is the pace
of progress in this, the most ephemeral of mediums, that new stars are created overnight and at 35, a whizkid suddenly discovers that he’s now a
was-kid.

The 19 men and women on our pages are the brightest of the new crop of
TV stars. We are betting that four years from now, they will be the titans of news TV.

Unless of course, there is another explosion and a new generation takes over next year. That’s how TV goes. A star at 22. Burnt out at 35.

Sweta Singh(Aaj Tak)

USP: Combativeness, an assertive style

Bold and feisty, Sweta anchors her 7-8.30 pm bulletins and the 8-8.30 pm news with a certain snappy-happy, I’ll-scissor-you-through style. “On air, I don’t want to give anyone, especially politicians, a manch. Do your bhashan-baji elsewhere. I just give them the space to tell people what they need to know. I’ve been told it seems like a scolding but that’s what sets me apart I believe.”

A graduate in Mass Communications from Patna University, Sweta worked with Sahara and Zee before joining Aaj Tak (she’s been with the channel for two years now), but anchoring was not something she easily slipped into. She wanted to make documentaries and not actually be on TV. But life life took a U-turn after she joined television as an anchor.

“Officially, it’s a nine-hour shift, but it’s never really so. Anything could happen any minute and I know that I just have to leave everything and make a run for the spot. Even though the viewer may see me on air at 7 pm, I come in by 12 noon. Report to the desk, look at the day’s rundowns (the news menu for the day), go through all the newspapers, magazines, and generally get started. The hours just start rolling after that.”

But she isn’t complaining – the boys have it rougher, she says, as the fairer sex is seen more as eye-candy. “Like it or not, they don’t expect much from the girls. We are more acceptable as anchors. There’s less pressure on us. Men take longer to make a mark.”

A good anchor, says Sweta, is not scared of anything or any person or even of what you might say on TV. “Whether I get a struggling filmstar on one of my shows or a religious leader, I have to be ready with my homework. On TV you’d better think before you speak –  there’s no time for ‘I’ll correct my mistake later.’” Her idols are Vinod Dua, and Prasun Punya Vajpayi of Aaj Tak for their straight-speak.

Most embarrassing moment on TV: During a commercial break I was combing my hair. I tossed the comb, a bright yellow thing, in the air. My hands were poised to catch the comb as it fell – when I came on air. I covered it up by making some comment on rajnaitik uthak baithak (political ups and downs).

Feedback: She has interests in diverse fields and is a calm and composed anchor. She handles live situations well.
– Q W Naqvi, News Director, Aaj Tak

Zakka Jacob(Headlines Today)

USP: Combination of finesse, in-depth research and seriousness

For a while, 22-year-old Zakka, who anchors the high-pressure Top Five 9 o’clock news lived the good southern boy dream. Had a missionary education (Asan Memorial in Chennai), went to church – he still does – and loved his vada idlis. He started with reading news on AIR, joined Sun TV and landed in Delhi last October.

For him, the best part of being an anchor boils down to “the info thing.” It gives him a sense of empowerment to tell people what happened. “Also, the fact that I get to know it first.”

He got over his initial nervousness by drawing on his public speaking experience at school. “In school it was expected that you would do well in studies and in extra-curricular activities as well. So I didn’t give appearing on TV that much of a build up. It was an extension of my public speaking.”

How much of Zakka’s laidback and sombre style is a reflection of his personality? Or is it an imitation of some senior anchor he admires? “Style is part of the person. I seem laidback or sombre on screen because that’s the way I am. On TV, you can’t hide who you are.” Role models include Tim Sebastian of the BBC because “he gets people to say things. He’s got a counterpoint for everything a guest can say. His questions are sharp and pointed but the tone is never hectoring.”

A good anchor, says Zakka, is first of all, credible. “When an anchor comes on screen, there are people not just watching you, but listening in. The viewer should feel that s/he can trust what this person is saying. The anchor must be credible. Screen presence and so on is fine but secondary.”

Most embarrassing moment on TV: In an interview with an ex-defence man I had a heated discussion on the state of the Indian Air Force. I wrapped up by saying “It was a pleasure meeting you sir”; to which he said “I don’t think so” and stormed off.

Feedback: He is the man to watch. He is well-read, intuitive. His line of questioning is direct and he goes straight to the core of the issue.
– E P Srinivasan, Executive Producer, Headlines Today

Rahul Kanwal(Aaj Tak)

USP: He's chatty, peppy and fun

24 year-old Rahul is the anchor who greets you every morning with squeaky clean earnestness. He anchors the high-pressure Breakfast and Evening News slots. A graduate of Delhi University with a degree in Broadcast Journalism in Hostile Environments from Cardiff, Rahul lives his 14-16 hour schedules as if he were at a beach. “TV is fertile land. If you put in more, you get more.”

The job of anchor doesn’t begin and end at the anchoring table or from the hour you see them on TV – that’s just the time they are on air. “The day begins by going through the online system (the octopus), attending news meetings, giving ideas, going for assignments, logging the tapes. A good anchor doesn’t just read the news, he must follow the news on the field as a reporter, learn to give his/her own headlines.”

One of the youngest anchors on Aaj Tak, Rahul loves the fact that age is no marker for capability on TV. “Being a news anchor doesn’t mean that you are expected to do your job in a fuddy duddy manner. But one must tailor one’s style to the show. Be fun and young for breakfast but be serious and tough for the evening show. A good anchor is like a good character artiste – he must be able to pull off different styles. Otherwise you get typecast as being only able to anchor a particular news-time.”

His idol is Richard Quest of CNN. “He’s been anchoring for 20 years and he looks as if he’s having a good time. That’s what I aim for too.”

Most embarrassing moment on TV: Every moment has potential for embarrassment. If I begin on that, I could write a book.

Feedback: He has lots of new ideas. He conceived the special programme, the three-day ‘Taj 350 Years’.
– Q W Naqvi, News Director, Aaj Tak

Smriti Rao(Headlines Today)

USP: Her poise and a girl-next-door appeal

By the look of it, Smriti is 24 going on 15. But that is just fine for Headlines Today, which caters to the young and the young at heart. “Because I seem very young,” says Smriti, “I connect better with the audience. My youthful looks do not go against me, on the contrary, I would say it works for the channel. No one’s complaining.”

Looks aside, Smriti has a fairly kosher CV. A student of St Anne’s Degree College and a post-graduate in Journalism from Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Hyderabad, she broke in with DD where she worked as an anchor and correspondent. Headlines Today is her second job in television – she anchors the popular Breakfast Show – and has given her immense exposure.

The random hours are a minor grouse and it helps that she is an out-of-towner. What does she love the most about being a news anchor on Aaj Tak? “I love the unexpectedness of the job. One day, it’s a politician. Another day it’s a popstar. The range of people who come to my table is what makes it all so exciting. I never know who I am going to meet the next day.”

As for stage fright, this slip of a girl says she doesn’t know the meaning of that word. “I have always been outgoing. I am basically a circus flea. I love to perform. Give me an audience and I will know the right things to say.”

Most embarrassing moment on TV: I almost said ‘scrotching heat’ instead of ‘scorching’ once. But I managed to pronounce it right just at the last minute. It was a narrow escape.

Feedback: She is a stylish and confident presenter. Her anchoring style is distinct and she connects very well with the viewers.
– E P Srinivasan, Executive Producer, Headlines Today

Tina Sharma(Headlines Today)

USP: Can handle tense situations

Apple-cheeked and twinkle-eyed, 27-year-old Tina Sharma of Headlines Today is a sports anchor who also, at times, fills in for the 2-6 pm and the 6-9 pm news slots. A sense of humour keeps her grounded and ready for disaster: technical or journalistic. “Breaking news is always high pressure,” says Tina. “We cut live for phone-ins all the time and sometimes the voice is faint, but we still have to gauge who we are talking to. If you fly off the handle because of some technical snag, you have lost it.” 

Tina brings an interesting background to the table. A fashion designer just four years ago, she chucked up a well-paying job to enroll for a journalism course from the Xavier Institute of Communication, Mumbai. After a stint with Hindustan Times, Delhi, on the sports desk, she moved on to TV for a variety of reasons: “I liked the idea of being on TV. I liked the fact that my mother, aunts and uncles would see me on TV and get excited. I found the pace in print slow. In TV, it’s a dynamic work environment. I like pressure. I like deadlines – and in TV, there’s a deadline every hour!” Of heroes and hero-worship: “I wanted to be a sports anchor like Harsha Bhogle. But on Headlines Today I ended up doing news as well.”

Most embarrassing moment on TV: We had just closed a bulletin. I thought we’d gone on break and I thought they would cut from the music to the Headlines Today logoplate. But they hadn’t… For the one-and-a-half seconds when I was yelling at the producer, I was on air. I got a royal screaming for that.

Feedback: She must be the youngest sports journalist from India to cover the Athens Olympics.
– E P Srinivasan, Executive Producer, Headlines Today

Siddharth Sharma(STAR News)

USP: His interest in, and grasp of news

Looking at Siddharth Sharma, the popular face of Star Report, who would say that he wanted to be a doctor once?

Siddharth was a dedicated biology student till Class XI when he discovered he was very comfortable dealing with his father’s clients (his father was into medical equipment). “I thought I had it in me to get into business so I decided to do a BBA.” And then he saw an ad on his local cable channel in Indore. 

The channel, called OTG, needed someone to translate scripts from Hindi to English. Since he was still a student, he didn’t mind the extra money. From freelance translation work to finally joining the channel, he found he was slowly getting into journalism – and he was only 19!

Soon he was not only translating  but also writing scripts, anchoring and producing. Meanwhile he’d finished his BBA and started on his MBA, with no thoughts of taking up journalism as career. “I liked what I was doing,” he quips (he worked at OTG for two-and-a-half years).

But it was only during a month-long internship at Zee during his MBA that he finally realised journalism was his calling. “It was at this time that I got fascinated by journalism. The thrill, the kind of action there is in a newsroom had me hooked.”

After completing his internship, he went back to Indore. But when he got a call from Zee in 1999 to join them, he was more than happy to take up the job. By then he’d also completed his MBA and didn’t find the corporate world more fascinating than the world of news. In 2002, he got an offer from Star News, and life has only become better after that.

From the royal tragedy in Nepal to his coverage of Akshardham to an award-winning documentary on Nagaland, 28-year-old Siddharth has got better over the years. He certainly anchors Star Report with great aplomb.

Most embarrassing moment on TV: Thankfully I’ve never had one. I’m extremely careful about what I say on TV.

Feedback: Siddharth anchors  his news programme with panache and style and has given the show an international appeal.
– Uday Shankar, CEO, Star News

Gaurav Banerjee(STAR News)

USP: His ability to come across as a very sincere person. His love of research is evident by the depth of his programmes

At just 27, Gaurav Banerjee got noticed for his in-depth coverage of the Afghan war while he was at Aaj Tak four years ago. “I was lucky to be there in the newsroom when the war happened. As I was familiar with the subject, I was asked to anchor that show,” says Gaurav who studied Mass Communication at Jamia Milia. After Aaj Tak, Gaurav moved to Star News where he covered the general elections and a budget show titled Sapno Ka Saudagar, a kind of lead-up to the budget that talked of the common wishlist.

Gaurav always wanted to be on TV and he says that it’s his ability to ask the questions viewers would like to ask that sets him apart from others. “Whenever I anchor a programme, I do it with the belief that the viewer knows nothing, and it’s the responsibility of the anchor to put everything across in such a way that the viewer is satisfied,” says Gaurav who grew up in Madhya Pradesh and feels very comfortable anchoring shows in Hindi.

But at the same time, Gaurav, who also anchors Khaas Baat, believes than an anchor is only the frontman, there are other people backstage who are jointly responsible for the success of any show. “The viewer appreciates the entire show and it always helps to have a good and professional team because in the end that's what ensures the success of any show,” explains Gaurav adding that the training system at Star News is such that even if any goof-ups happen, the anchor doesn’t get flustered and is in fact honest and upfront about the problem.

Most embarrassing moment on TV: During the last elections, our opinion poll results went haywire and we got a hammering from the politicians. Due to this, politicians like Sushma Swaraj and Sushil Kumar Shinde were not willing to take me seriously this year and kept commenting about last year’s goof up. So it became a bit embarrassing. Thankfully, this year the results were right.

Feedback: His knowledge of Indian politics is quite remarkable. He is intelligent though he’s still so young.
– Uday Shankar, CEO, Star News

Mandira Fernandes(STAR News)

USP: Her ability to connect with viewers

Mandira Fernandes couldn’t believe her luck when her application for a job at Star News was accepted. She had studied broadcast journalism in England and had also done an internship with the BBC in 2001.

She wasn’t very comfortable with Hindi in the beginning, but everybody at Star helped out by talking to her in Hindi all the time, and today she not only anchors Star Savera but also Wah Cricket in the evenings. “I read a lot of Hindi papers to improve my language skills and watch most of the prime time Hindi programmes. As I present Star Savera which is a morning show, I feel that I must keep myself abreast with the latest, not just in terms of news but even in terms of lifestyle and fashion trends as that’s something viewers would like to know,” says 26-year-old Mandira, who is a yoga fanatic besides being an avid viewer of the K serials.

Most embarrassing moment on TV: Once I had to ask my colleague Sunil in Chennai to comment on something and instead of calling him by his name, I kept referring to him as Chennai on line!

Feedback: Mandira is a good reporter. She is one anchor who adds glamour to her intelligent anchoring.
– Uday Shankar, CEO, Star News

Nidhi Razdan(NDTV 24x7)

USP: Her ability to stay calm even during breaking news

For 27-year-old Nidhi Razdan who anchors the prime time news show, joining NDTV five years ago was a dream come true. An IIMC graduate, she had wanted to work with her role models, Prannoy Roy, Rajdeep Sardesai and Barkha Dutt.

But anchoring wasn’t what she’d planned to do: she saw herself as a reporter.
“Anchoring happened by chance just six months after I joined the channel. Rupali Tiwari, the anchor of our breakfast show, fell ill and I was asked to replace her. I was nervous as well as excited but my co-host Vikram Chandra put me at ease,” recalls Nidhi who covers politics with special emphasis on Kashmir.

Today Nidhi not only goes out as a reporter but anchors prime time news too. “If you have never reported, then you can’t be a good anchor as it’s essential to have that nose for news to give depth to your programme,” says Nidhi. At NDTV, she adds, the anchors themselves are responsible for their shows – nobody writes the scripts for them.

So Nidhi spends a lot of time reading newspapers. “Merely looking at the front page will not help you become a good anchor, you have to know a lot. Anybody who aspires to be a good anchor must first be a good journalist,” says Nidhi.

Most embarrassing moment on TV: Once on the show, the mike fell from a guest’s hand and I had to crawl under the table to retrieve it.

Feedback: She is absolutely clued in,  and very poised.
– Vikram Chandra, Senior Editor, NDTV

Anisha Baig(NDTV 24x7)

USP: Her knack of putting guests completely at ease and making them open up

Anisha Baig, the popular anchor of Night Out, telecast live from Mumbai five days a week, had never dreamt of being in the electronic media. An English Honours graduate from St Stephen’s College, 29 year-old Anisha had dropped in her CV at NDTV just for the heck of it nearly eight years ago. “When I was asked to join, my only thought was to stick around for a few months perhaps, earn some money and then enjoy life. But once I joined, I realised that this is something I really enjoy and that’s why I stuck on,” recalls Anisha.

For six years, she covered fashion and lifestyle for the trend-based show Good Morning India. And she also worked in production. Then, in April 2003, the channel decided to start Night Out and the producer of the show decided Anisha would be the best anchor.

“I try not to be intrusive. That’s why people open up easily on the programme,” says Anisha recalling how Sameera Reddy and Fardeen Khan came on her show to clear the rumour that they were having an affair. And then, just a few days ago, Saif Ali Khan admitted to her that he has a new love in his life.

Most embarrassing moment on TV: At a party, Shakti Kapoor leched at me, saying he had been asked to come without his wife as there would be lots of good-looking girls there!

Feedback: Most guests speak candidly on her show.
– Sonal Joshi, Entertainment Producer, NDTV

Mughda Kalra(NDTV India)

USP: Her love of reading makes her open to all kinds of information

If you watch Namaskar India, the morning programme from 6 to 10 am on NDTV India, 25 year-old Mughda Kalra must have caught your eye. Not just because of the way she looks, but also because of the intelligent way she presents the latest news together with interesting lifestyle trends.

Mughda started with Zee and Aaj Tak before moving on to NDTV India almost 18 months ago. She joined Zee when she was barely 19 and had just finished her Bachelor’s in Journalism from Maharaja Agrasen College in Delhi. She shifted to Aaj Tak soon after it launched. “At Aaj Tak, I trained in editing and got to handle the camera,” says Mughda. That was when Mughda realised where her true potential lay: not in covering hardcore political news but in political analysis. “I was told to watch the anchors on ABC, BBC, CNN and pay special attention to their body language,” recalls Mughda. "I read a lot of newsmagazines and watch other channels to improve my style. There is no excuse for not knowing about any kind of development in any field whatsoever.”

Most embarrassing moment on TV: Once I had the band ‘Strings’ on my programme and I kept calling the two band-members by the wrong names.

Feedback: Mughda has brought a lot of warmth to the morning show. Nobody wants to see a grim face in the morning.
– Dibang, Executive Editor, NDTV India

Sunetra  Choudhury( NDTV 24x7)

USP: Her hunger for news. She is very, very inquisitive and will go to any length for a good story. She also connects with people very easily.

Sunetra was working as a deputy chief reporter with Indian Express when the electronic media started getting exciting. And the 27-year-old IIMC graduate decided that if ever she was to change track, it should be while she was still young enough to deal with it, since reporting for TV is very different from reporting for print – and she was bright enough to understand that it would be a far from cushy job.

“So I joined Star News when it launched three years ago where I trained in Hindi and started doing Hindi reporting. Today I can proudly say that I am one of the few bilingual reporters around. This is where the future of TV journalism lies,” explains Sunetra who joined NDTV last year after working with Star News for a year.

She’s happy with the way her career has taken off. “After reporting on TV, my conception of what makes a good story has changed completely,” she says. “TV has a much better impact and a greater reach than newspapers and here the pictures do the major work for you.”

Though she hopes to be an anchor in a few years’ time, Sunetra prefers reporting as of now. Her favourite story was the one in which she reported on two sisters who were thrown out of school for the lack of Rs. 1,000.

“I was flooded with calls from various organisations and people who wanted to help these girls and that really made me feel so good,” says Sunetra who feels you really have to be a news junkie to do well in this field.

That of course has its downside – there are times when your personal life has to vanish into the background. But then for her, doing a good story is much more important.

Most embarrassing moment on TV: There are times when I get feedback from a viewer who, instead of commenting on my report, only talks about how I looked. And I also get feedback about my clothes, which I find quite embarrassing.

Feedback: The good thing about Sunetra is that she is a very good reporter, which adds a lot of credibility to her work.
– Rajdeep Sardesai, Political Editor, NDTV

Tazeel Golmei(NDTV India)

USP: As a reporter he knows Delhi inside out

Tazeel Golmei, anchor of shows like Dial 100 and Crime Watch, is a polyglot. Not only does this Manipuri have great command over Hindi, but he’s comfortable with Bhojpuri, Haryanavi and Punjabi too. “Speaking with people in their own language is very important, especially for a crime-based programme. It makes them feel at ease,” he says.

Tazeel joined IIMC in 1999. After that he did a three-year stint at DD News where, apart from handling production, he also anchored Deepak Chopra’s show, Mind Body and Soul. “Working with DD News really made me understand the nuances of production,” says Tazeel. This was followed by a short stint at Zee News after which Tazeel landed at NDTV, two years ago.

He is not particularly fond of reporting on crime, he says, he much prefers an anchor’s role, but he adds that the best thing about NDTV is that they groom anchors to be reporters as well. “Anchors as well as reporters are given a window and nothing, not even crime is allowed to be sensationalised,” says Tazeel who also anchored the popular Dilli Ka MLA programme before the elections. “We try to treat crime as an event and being a reporter has really helped me.”

Most embarrassing moment on TV: I had done a story on shopkeepers selling pirated VCDs in Palika Bazaar. Later, on a shoot, a small boy started yelling to his father, ‘Papa, this is the person who sent you to jail’

Feedback: Tazeel has brought in a lot of freshness to the crime shows and that’s why Dial 100, which was off air for a while, is being brought back from November 1.
– Dibang, Executive Editor, NDTV India

Navjyot Randhawa(Sahara Samay)

Navjyot Randhawa was always an extrovert at school and college. Whether it was debates or dance competitions or athletics, she was comfortable in the limelight. That’s perhaps why she got into TV journalism. But hers wasn’t a straight entry. Navjyot wanted to be an airhostess. But the airline interviews did not work out. Someone from Zee Alpha Punjabi saw her at the airhostess’s institute and offered her a job. She agreed because this too was a place where she would be noticed.

It wasn’t easy coping with the stress that comes with such a job. “I struggled hard for three or four years to prove things to myself,” she says. But she knew she was hooked when, a year after she joined Alpha, she finally got an interview call for an airline – and she refused. “I’d struggled to establish myself and I didn’t want to give it up. Plus I’d already started enjoying my work at the channel,” she explains.

Later she worked for All India Radio. “I did everything from voiceovers to news reading to plays on air. Radio is something I thoroughly enjoyed.” And AIR kept her happy and occupied for three years.

In 2003, when she heard of an opening in Sahara, she applied for a job and got through easily. Today, she’s only too happy she did. “I absolutely love my work, whether I’m anchoring or reporting. But live shows are what I really like. The thrill that a live show can give you is unmatchable.”

Today the newly-married Navjyot prefers to concentrate on anchoring. “It gives me time to balance my professional and personal life,” she says. And she’s doing it rather well!

Most embarrassing moment on TV: The times I forget to speak. I know what I have to ask or say, but I just go blank.

Feedback: She has the ability to do both colour shows and news.
– Arup Ghosh, Head of National Channel, Sahara Samay

Shereen Bhan(CNBC)
USP: Ability to be comfortable with a wide range of subjects

Pretty and competent, Shereen Bhan is full of quiet energy. And this is probably
what keeps her going (she hasn’t had a holiday in 3 years!)

A graduate from St Stephen’s, Shereen initially wanted a career in advertising. But then life, as we know, takes its own course. It was during her internship as a part of her filmmaking degree from Pune University that Shereen Bhan came to UTV and before she knew it, she had got hooked to journalism.

Soon she joined UTV full-time. Then followed a whole lot of shows, in which she played a variety of roles – from producing to anchoring, shows such as A Question of Answers with Vir Sanghvi, The Big Question with Karan Thapar, and many more.

She was with UTV for two years before she jumped on to the TV 18 bandwagon. Today of course she’s a known face on TV, so much so that she’s had people walk up to her at the oddest of occasions and ask about stocks. “You are having dinner in a restaurant and someone suddenly walks up to you and wants an update on stocks! Sometimes people write to me about what colour looked nice on me, or comment on my comments. Things you don’t even know people are looking at get noticed! At times, it can get pretty unnerving.”

But of course she loves her job. And it’s the variety of shows she does that really keep her going. From politics to lifestyle, to a market show to her popular programme Young Turks to India Business Hour, Shereen loves the sheer range of her job. “You have to be on your feet all the time,” she says. Well, she’s very much on her feet and standing tall!

Most embarrassing moment on TV: The times I’m not supposed to have been on air and everyone saw me brushing back my hair or chatting!

Feedback: Her delivery, I’d say, is 100 per cent. You give her a job and you know it’ll be done.
– Senthil Chengalvarayan, Executive Editor, CNBC

Akshay Shukla(Sahara Samay)

USP: His grasp over politics

You could say that journalism runs in Akshay Shukla’s blood. His father’s a journalist too. But advertising attracted him at first, and then, Law. In 1995, while working on his LLB from Delhi University, he freelanced for radio. And then he met journalist Alok Mehta of Outlook and found himself so fascinated by the profession that he dropped the idea of practising Law and joined a newspaper instead.

Not that his LLB didn’t come in handy. Akshay began his journalism career as the legal correspondent with the Hindi Hindustan, where he covered important stories like Bofors, the JMM bribery case and the Uphaar tragedy, among others. Next came a stint with Doordarshan, for which he covered the Sydney Olympics, but a short while later, he went back to print with another Hindi newspaper. Then a friend told him about an opening at Sahara and since then, he’s been on your TV screen.

At Sahara, Akshay covers practically everything: He brought you the recent Lok Sabha elections, covered the India-Pakistan cricket series, and has just dealt with the Maharashtra elections. “I love learning to understand politics, deciphering it, making it simple.”

Most embarrassing moment on TV: Quite a few but I can’t remember any now.

Feedback: Akshay’s in-depth knowledge of subjects gives him that extra spark.
– Arup Ghosh, Head of National Channel, Sahara Samay


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