Two successful years passed by, but we never realized how the time had passed. Since our entry into the market, we have always been experimenting with things to set new trends in media and keep parallel journalism alive. Holding a Publication house or Newspaper is no more a prerogative of an Industrialist. What matters is that you need to have courage and capabilities and a strong pen in hand. There is no alternative to hard work and sincere efforts. For me, it has been quite an eventful journey and a fantastic learning process. On this occasion, I would first like to express my sincere gratitude to all my readers and the people who actually shaped me as a journalist and helped me grow. Also to all my subordinates who let me explore and lend freedom to reach new avenues. I am happy that this year our daily newspaper Afternoon Voice got listed and we started few new niche magazines like Hacker5 and Art Scape. Running a newspaper purely requires team work and here I can boast saying that I am blessed with a very good team. Although my team members are young, they are energetic and innovative. You give them freedom to take some liberties, and they are there with the task completing smoothly. The only disadvantage is that, they hate time restrictions. None of them is an early bird and even I am late latif, but when it comes to commitment, we are always there on time.
My team includes a small group of young and inexperienced staffs with some already mentored while some yet to explore. Having limited resources, helpless status of not affording to pay very good package to the staffs, yet I remain prompt when payments are concerned. Many get surprised and wonder how we are surviving and are able to manage so many publications, standards and uninterrupted show. The secret is proper strategy and dedication to complete tasks in limited resources. I am proud to know the fact that, ours is the only parallel media house existing so far. The main purpose of starting this media house is to say no to intellectual slavery. Our sole intention is to fight the odds and evil in the fourth estate and maintain the integrity. We may not be hundred percent successful because we are still young but the fact is that we at least have started.
We are surrounded by critics and spammers but that seldom makes any difference to us. Interestingly, the fact is that they have always proven to be a blessing in disguise for us as they gave us opportunities to understand our weaknesses and improve our performance. Unfortunately, our rival publications had tried their level best to pull down our show, but we are happy to boast that they had to break all rigid rules of 30 long years to give us a stiff competition. Moreover, it is good to see that all their attempts have failed and they remain at the same position they were a year ago and we are growing and moving far ahead of time. I am sure that since we are honest to our work, we can and we will achieve the peaks one day.
Late Shree Pramod Navalkar, actually taught me the skills of news gathering and taking interviews. During those days, I used to feel bored with his long lectures but today I miss him so much. I started my career with a Hindi daily and switched over to electronic media later. I got my first Job in 'In Time' news, a cable channel. From there I explored various gametes of visuals, news, editing, shooting, camera operating, Voice over, documentary filming and finally landed doing corporate films too. After sometime, I felt as if I had reached the saturation point and hence I decided to get connected to print. Thus, I took up a job in The Free Press Journal as a senior correspondent. There was vast difference; different challenges, putting words in a limited frame and using appropriate language. Here I did my best and further joined Afternoon Despatch and Courier. I made lots of documentaries for international and national channels and corporate sectors. The journey was on but one day on a very sad note I had to resign from the newspaper. From that day I decided to give up intellectual mortgage and come out of slavery. That's how Afternnon Voice came in existence.
I had always been an avid listener of news on radio since my childhood days and also a good reader of newspapers which helped me understand news and style of writing. I have no hesitation in saying that bulletins were the 'real' news presented in a lucid style without any distortions and gave the information required by people. I was very childish at the time I began my career as a journalist. But my seniors were always appreciative and always helped me out by teaching the basics of news reporting and offering me valuable suggestions to improve myself. I was very fortunate to have worked in good banners and with good seniors. Today I feel proud to have such people as my mentor. When I announced my newspaper's title as Afternoon Voice, everyone threw a question on us asking why Afternoon?
I started the paper with same name because I wanted to dedicate this to the legendary Behram Contractor or Busybee as he was popularly known who was an institution in himself. He founded The Afternoon Despatch & Courier in March 1985 at age 55, literally with no resources. His so-called financial backers came along when his brainchild was a runaway success. Behram is not in our midst today, but he continues to live in our hearts. After his death the flair of that paper just vanished in tug of war to all wanted and unwanted authorities. Somewhere Behram was lost and even the paper never bothered recollecting his birth or death day. Many people like me couldn't bear this pain. Anyways, I wanted to re-launch the Afternoon with the motive to do justice with the newspaper, its avid readers and pay tributes to its founder-editor.
Ironically, there is a glut of newspapers today which are owned by vested interests. Afternoon Voice is, additionally, an attempt to establish a banner which is purely owned, executed and circulated by intellectual think tanks and journalists. This city-centric tabloid spurred the appetites for a wide variety of news ranging from crime to corruption, slums and ghettoes to the dazzling make-believe world of movies, hair-raising incidents of human rights violation to the power syndicates that influence the destiny of billions of people inhabiting this 'unredeemable basket case'.
Now we have seven different publications and online news telecast service. The success of Magazines 'Beyond the News' and 'Maritime Bridges' encouraged me to take up a new venture that is Mumbai Manoos, our daily Marathi publication. Beyond this, we are soon launching www.sabkileak.com which is based on the lines of wikileaks. Our biggest venture this year would be launching mobile van news services. These vans would be going to slums at particular time displaying them the news and discussing their problems which would be represented in the corridors of power. Our niche venture sabkileak not only kept us busy but got us strong support from thousands of hackers around the globe. To give the hackers an opportunity and a platform to make our country free from cyber threats, we gave birth to our new magazine Hacker5.
I feel blessed to have best circulation, distribution, marketing and even printing team. With the grace of god, our number of staffs have multiplied. Magazines are getting good readership. Our hard work has paid and we got good number of advertisements. Thus, this enabled our company Newsmakers Publications Pvt. Ltd and NBC (Newsmakers Broadcasting & Communication) grow rapidly. I am thankful to all these great people who came forward to boost our morale. To be honest, our readers are our mentors as they give us prompt feedback to improvise the newspaper. Today I feel extremely proud to celebrate the second anniversary of our publication house.
Lastly, I would like to convey a message to all biggies of media industry and the seniors at desk that pen is the strength in your hand and banner is power that adds to your personality. Till the time you have that banner support, you rule as king in your arena, but once the banner is gone you remain completely empty. One needs to understand that it is he himself who can stop hierarchy in media. There are many youngsters who have lots of potentials to be at the desk and that too at a creative level. Also, there are thousands of aspiring journalists having fire in them to explore and succeed with bright colours. It is my humble request to all of you that if possible don't lose an opportunity to mentor them. So far I was under the impression that at least media is away from dirty politics but, later on I realized that we are lured into it. I would also like to say that my intentions here are not to criticize anyone and whatever I said is just the things that came in my mind.
Let's set new trends and keep parallel journalism alive, and hold this power in our hand…..
Once again, thank you all……..