Media & broadcasting industry continues to flourish in developed and developing countries for content ranging from that for general entertainment channels, sports and news. Journalist Rajdeep Sardesai career story starts with print media. He acquired prominence in journalism the 1990s.
Growth years: From GEC to Media-Broadcasting
This is when the likes of Barkha Dutt, Sagarika Ghose and Arnab Goswami began their careers in the print media and news broadcasting was in its nascent stages in the country. Before this period, news broadcast was limited to the 30 minute news show thrice a day. There was little information that one could get from such a news broadcast. There was space for news channels and the whole media industry to grow in India.
Wide expanse of knowledge: from Economics to Law
He is trained in Economics, Arts and Civil Law. He pursued a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from St. Xavier’s College. For further education in the arts stream he moved to England. He earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Arts from the University College, Oxford. This is where he also met his better half, Sagarika Ghose, a journalist herself. She was working with CNN-IBN and is now associated with the Times Group. His academic credentials put him in a good stead in the media industry with his wide ranging knowledge, a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Law only adds to it.
Years at NDTV: from a reporter to Managing Editor
Rajdeep Sardesai career story depicts the one that is similar to many of those of his generation who began their careers at one organization and went on to reach the greatest of heights not only in their careers but also in the media & broadcasting industry. He had his eyes set on a career in media right from the beginning. He started with print media, his association with India’s oldest media house lasting for six years. He joined NDTV in the 1990’s. He received recognition from journalist colleagues for his work and was granted prime time slot for his show ‘The Big Fight’.
This show along with Barkha Dutt’s ‘We the People’ were the two shows that made NDTV what it is today, having garnered TRPs that no other channel in those times could. He reached the position of a Consulting Editor with NDTV but it was only in 2005 when he branched out on his own that he was able to showcase his skill as the one who can drive a channel rather than being only a part of the decision making body.
NDTV to IBN
Global Broadcast News was the holding company through which he got foreign investment into India for 3 channels, namely CNN IBN 18, IBN Lokmat and IBN 7. CNN, an international media conglomerate, based in the US invested in the organization and a JV was formed along with Raghav Bahl’s TV 18 group.
Rajdeep Sardesai career story remained at the helm till 2014 and he moved to Headlines Today owned by the India Today Group. This was a brief period of change being experienced in the Indian media industry with the most prominent names including journalist Shekhar Gupta who was associated with the Indian Express group.
Vinod Mehta was leading the journalists’ editing team at the Outlook and the detail with which the magazine carried the stories is still seen as investigative journalism par excellence alongside the work being done by the likes of Tehelka under Mr. Tarun Tejpal. The likes of Shoma Chaudhary and Saba Naqvi came in much later.
A new era for journalists: Editors turned CEOs
Rajdeep Sardesai career story is known to have amassed most of his wealth during this period, taking home a pay-cheque that ran into Crores. He was the one holding the prime-time slot. He took the channel starting from scratch to the one that could compete with established channels giving competition even to the channel he had spent decades working with.
Books & Social Media
He wrote a book on the last Lok Sabha elections. It proved to be a bestseller in India. He is active on social media, primarily on Twitter. He is often trolled on social media but through this account he conveys his opinion on real-time information. His followers can give him a sense of the opinion the public in general will hold before he holds a discussion with experts.
Eye for a story does count among journalists apart from the ability to look at issues objectively. His secular & liberal credentials describe him more than any other set of attributes can.