A day after resigning from NDTV, veteran journalist Ravish Kumar left a heartfelt video on his YouTube channel, behind his decision to end his 26-year journey with the broadcaster.
Quitting the channel on Wednesday, Kumar, who was the senior executive editor at NDTV India, had that his resignation be effective immediately. On Tuesday, Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy quit as the directors of the board of NDTV promoter RRPRH, as the Adani group to a takeover of the television network.
In a video uploaded on his YouTube channel called Ravish Kumar Official on Thursday, the senior journalist said that while there were many channels with different names in the country, they were all “godi media”. The Magsaysay awardee had recently promised to frequently post videos on YouTube, after news of an imminent takeover of NDTV by the Adani Group had triggered speculation about the fate of his show. However, he had earlier called the rumours about his resignation as fake as prime minister Narendra Modi agreeing to give him an interview.
In the 22nd video on the YouTube channel, Kumar said that when the judiciary in the country had faltered and the people in power had tried to silence the voice of many, it was the people of the country who had shown immense love towards him, adding that he wouldn't have been able to do anything without his audience.
Kumar spoke about his journey so far, his plans for the future, the challenges of Hindi journalism and the social divide in the country. He urged his audience to continue supporting his work through his YouTube channel and Facebook page. He said that the world around him had kept changing, but like a test match player, he remained on the pitch. But now someone had finished the match itself and changed it to T20, he said.
“As soon as I woke up in the morning, it was 9 pm in my mind. I would start typing around 5,000-7,000 words everyday. But now it may not be 9 pm, it may not be prime time,” said Kumar. “I don't know what I will do at 9 pm now. I love television a lot. My heart grew fond of this medium, maybe that’s why my heart is breaking too. I will keep remembering that red mic.”
The veteran journalist said that he had not been appearing on his show Prime Time for the last few days as he was trying to slowly fade away from the audience's memory, but they did not forget him.
“The media space in India has changed. Think about youngsters who are studying journalism but will have to do the job of dalali. A scared journalist gives birth to a dying citizen. Hence, keep saying you are not scared.”
The resignation also became a subject of memes and social media humour.
The resignation comes amid an open offer by the Adani group to acquire NDTV that started on November 22 and will go on till December 5. Newslaundry has reported on the trading of NDTV shares and why shareholders have tendered over 53 lakh shares below market price.
Informing the channel’s staff of Kumar’s resignation Wednesday night, NDTV president Suparna Singh had said, “Few journalists have impacted people as much as Ravish. This reflects in the immense feedback about him; in the crowds he draws everywhere; in the prestigious awards and recognition he has received, within India and internationally; and in his daily reports, which champion the rights and needs of those who are underserved.”
Talking about the increased subscriptions on his YouTube page last month, the journalist said it is not just about subscriptions but also about responding to the “media backed by thousands of advertisement types” and a sign that the audience has now “understood the maneouvres of the mainstream media”.
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