Arnab says he shouts because you cannot be heard otherwise in this country.

Watch Arnab Goswami speak about Republic and how he wants to change journalismScreenshot
news Media Thursday, December 22, 2016 - 12:55

More than a month after former editor-in-chief of Times Now Arnab Goswami left the national channel, he said his new venture “Republic” would change the “perspective” of journalism.  

Speaking at a function commemorating Hindi daily Dainik Bhaskar's 20th anniversary at Tagore International School in Jaipur, Arnab Goswami, touched upon a variety of subjects including his personal struggles in his career, run-ins with politicians, the importance of going digital, and the need to have a journalism industry independent of political influences.

Recounting a spat he had with CPM’s Jyoti Basu in 1996, where after an interview with him, a “political stooge of the then CPM bosses” manhandled him, Arnab said, “(He) held me, pushed me against a wall, snatched my camera from me at the entrance of the CPM office. He repeatedly pushed me back and almost smashed my head against a wall.”

When he went back and asked for an apology, he was told, “Go fight your own battles.”  However, Arnab was relentless: “I said that I would sit on a hunger strike outside the CPM office until I get an apology letter. I did so and eventually, I had an apology letter from him.”

In another incident, Arnab had to apologise to the then Law Minister Ramakant Khalap for asking what Arnab describes as a “straightforward question for something he had done wrong”. Following this, Khalap called NDTV, with whom Arnab was a reporter at the time, and insisted that he apologise.

Arnab claimed that it was incidents like these which had encouraged him to start “Republic”. “Politicians give ads in news channels and mistreat journalists. All of these things have encouraged me to start ‘Republic’. The idea behind ‘Republic’ is to change the perspective of journalism,” he said.

He also promised that as long as he remains in the journalism profession, he will not “let down” people’s faith in him. “The people who rejoiced when I left (Times Now) will eat their words now, because I am coming back with ‘Republic’,” he said.

He highlighted however, that his journey so far has not been without people doubting him.

“People tell me, ‘what will you do? You are one person, they are big companies. You have little money, they have a lot of money. You’re not a businessman.’” Admitting that he is not a businessman Arnab pointed out that his drive was different: it was the faith he had placed in the people.

“I believe in this country. There is a reason why we have named our venture ‘Republic’. It means ‘for the people’… undiluted and direct to the hearts of our people. If we are true, I know you will not let down my faith in you,” he said.   

He also spoke about the importance of going digital in democratizing honest journalism. “We will see a lot of power in the hands of people (with digital). Over The Top (OTT) devices will become very significant in the future. It is very democratising for me because if anyone who tries to stop us (on one platform), we will have 30 other ways to reach the audience,” Arnab said. This was however a very different take from what he had said in the past about TV and digital journalism.

Speaking about moving the attention of the media away from Delhi towards other parts of the country as well, Arnab said that in the coming times, the gap between regional and national media would be bridged.

Arnab’s style of conducting his shows has been controversial and often called too partisan for a moderator. However, Arnab justified himself saying that he shouts because you cannot be heard otherwise in this country. 

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