The journalist as neta: Inside the heady world of Press Club politics

The Press Club of India holds one of its most contentious elections on Saturday.

The journalist as neta: Inside the heady world of Press Club politics
Shambhavi Thakur
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A lot more than revelry and banter goes down between drinks at the Press Club of India, a 62-year-old institution that occupies one of Lutyens Delhi’s premier addresses – 1, Raisina Road. For a couple of weeks, two groups camp in the outer courtyard of the club, strategically seated at its either ends, puffing cigarettes, munching peanuts, and meditating on what is to be done. They are journalists locked in a fierce battle to run the club, which boasts an annual revenue of more than Rs 9 crore, with nearly 4,200 active journalist members, 900 associate members, and a few dozen corporate members.

The Press Club, or PCI, will hold one of its most contentious elections in recent years on April 10. On one hand is the panel that has been in charge since 2010, seen as a leftist-liberal clique, with not many familiar names in journalism. On the other is a panel with more working journalists, picked from better known media organisations, but who are accused of not being liberal enough.

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