I feel like my mails are always critical of NL (and almost exclusively of Abhinandan). But I expect nothing but excellence from NL, and when that doesn't happen, I feel the need call it out, because I, like many subscribers, want NL to do well and gain wider audience.
So, the Salvatore Babones interview. Sigh! I really didn't understand the point of it. What were we trying to achieve? Was it an interview about his life, about the statements he made, about his ideologies and beliefs, about his politics – it was such a muddle and not a good interview at all. It was a "gotcha" interview without any clear "gotchas"! I didn't really learn anything and don't even know why I spent an hour of my life on Mr Babones. Maybe this was a miss, but I feel like we need to do better with interviewing those from the other end of the spectrum – biases clearly come out in these interviews.
Loved Abhinandan's interview with Professor Babones. I loved when he got the taste of his own medicine. Keep it up!
One request. I remember Abhinandan talking about creating experiential programs like walks, trips organised by NL. Could you please tell us by when it would be started? I rather give money to you guys than to other groups.
As opposed to your fanboys/girls, I would have to say that your interview with Prof. Babones was a total disaster. You were unnecessarily confrontational in the interview and it did seem that you are doing the interview just to put him down. I have noticed your "pangaa lene wala" attitude in other interviews as well, like your interview with Tavleen and also with your discussion with Shekhar Gupta at a Media Rumble event. I know that you do do very good interviews and hope you actually listen to criticism of your most recent interview and improve from next time.
What was the name of short story referred to by Mehraj at around 00:30 in Hafta 411?
What a great send-off to Mehraj. Loved listening to the conversation. I have been working exclusively as an automobile journalist for more than a decade and now trying to get out. I saw your tweet, Obhi, and trust me, you're not alone in struggling with Mahindra's service. All the best to Mehraj and hopefully he will be able to participate in Hafta's future episodes. His perspective on any subject is quite unique. I trust the NL team is doing something about the attrition rate.
Great to see Manisha back with Newsance and what a super interview with Mr Babones, Obhi. Loved it and the exchanges on Twitter between you two.
In episode 411, the porous Indo-China border reminded me of an episode. Many years ago, an ITBP commander told us during an expedition how the Chinese used to come to places like Demchok and Chumathang hot water springs in a friendly way for decades. But later, they started creating a ruckus and beating locals so that they would leave the villages. Later patrolling was increased in such areas.
PS: The app on iOS is acting up as well. What I meant in my last letter was that even Disruptor annual subscribers should get access to RSS links and it should not be limited to Game Changers. I have already persuaded one friend to become an NL subscriber. Hope to find more such friends soon.
The last time Manisha read my letter, she thought my anonymous name was was Bachchan's tweet number, but it is actually the name of Arnold's robot in the first Terminator movie (expected Abhinandan to get this since he keeps reminding us that he was a 70s person).
I am writing this letter to say that Mehraj will be missed dearly. I think his recommendations from Hafta are gold. Someone (I think Manisha) mentioned in the last Hafta that journalists sometimes question what kind of impact their stories have on the world. I think journalists have a profound impact on readers and some stories are worth remembering.
I always wanted to appreciate a few stories that Newslaundry has done and they are worth remembering. So, here is a small list of stories/ mentions that I think were amazing (you don't have to read the entire list):
1) The gang violence story in Pimpre-Chinchwad and the story of Pune lady job scam by Prateek Goyal
2) The Central Vista series by Alpana Kishore
3) The ground reports by Akanksha are fantastic
4) The Hindi podcast on the writer Agyeya and his biography provided great insight (will buy and read the book someday)
5) The long report on Disha Salian's family
6) All the great podcasts that you produce
7) Anand's column is a pleasure to read and I look forward to it
These are stories that are worth remembering for me. There will be other readers who have their own special stories. I think journalists should be given more feedback about their stories in the form of appreciation or criticism so they feel like they are able to make an impact on their readers.
Expecting more of such great stories from the NL team. May you increase your subscribers. Happy new year to you guys!
Hope you and the team are doing well. Longtime subscriber (if you consider three years a long time) writing for the first time. Love your work.
Recently, an interview of yours created controversy as you pulled the interview back to paywall. I have a suggestion which you may ignore. Pulling videos of such idiots will create job in the propaganda ecosystem. They may try to paint the picture that, due to backlash, Newslaundry took such a step (as an OpIndia article said, although only dolts read them but dolts are huge). It's like pulling the Agnihotri interview from YouTube to behind the paywall. Vivek's विवेक विहीन ecosystem will create an issue out of it. I hope you got my point.
Further, Meghnad's exit from Newslaundry created a vacuum. You need to fill that with someone with similar traits. Now Mehraj is leaving so I think the team needs rebuilding. Wish you all the best.
Lastly, huge love for Manisha and Atul and their work. They are just awesome. I won't say I love you as well because you are too old.
This is shoutout to Chitranshu for making the app and continuously improving it. Is it possible for us to include the number of hours/days we have spent consuming podcasts? If not, it is fine. Again, fabulous work with the app. Chitranshu and team – Bruuuuah!
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