TIO’s new offering. A New Column: POV (Point of View) by Bureau Chief Dr. Shirin Abbas
It never ceases to amaze me how our decorated Bureau –Chief, Dr. Shirin Abbas, juggles so many hats. No doubt, she is an outstanding journalist and comes from a reputed family of scholars, educators and writers. Her mother Dr. Zareen Abbas is a retired professor in Modern & Medieval history, her father, Saiyed Anwer Abbas, is a noted author, Lucknowphile and authority on monumental Islamic calligraphy and brother, Roshan Abbas, an outstanding name in the Event industry and a celebrity in his own right. Not just the immediate family—aunts, cousins all are writers, thus Journalism runs in their blood.
I was in two minds whether along with the responsibilities of India Bureau Chief, Dr. Shirin would be able to handle the pressures of a fortnightly column, as she proposed. In fact we indulged in a lengthy debate on the issue as the last thing I wanted her to feel is stressed out, what with her responsibilities as an academician and researcher also demanding a lot of her time. But she does not easily take ‘No’ for an answer. She did not budge, neither was she ready to back-off…her intelligent discussion made me change my mind. I realized my worries that she was taking on more then she could chew were misplaced.
Seeing her work in the past three months and receiving numerous compliments from the readers, I am convinced of her journalistic capabilities. However, what I really like about her is how relatable she is, beautiful, understanding and very down to earth, that coupled with a lot of ethics makes for a perfect combination. I am finding it hard to address this mixed picture, with her position.
It’s a tough world out there and her work needs considerable research before her writings get published. At the same time it also forecast significant opportunities for her and TIO and other online media “partly as a reaction to major socio-economic and technological trends, such as changing competitive scenario and developments.” In this fast-paced world of digital media, we, or I should say my TIO commander in chief Anshuman Agrawal , has already felt the need to delete and/or add tabs, pros and cons of any e- paper change as one progresses and I agree with him. The idle ones to be removed, the active ones put forward. It is my duty as the Editor-In-Chief and Publisher, to take decisions on them, vet the same and give my nod to any changes which will bring an increase in readership. Audience preference needs to be kept in mind; demographics have to be looked into. However, as Dr. Shirin has argued, and I couldn’t agree more, it is the editorial policy, stands and opinion of any media house that takes it forward and gives it direction.
I am assured by Dr. Shirin that the recent changes we have made to TIO will add value to the brand indefinitely, and have seen the results after the first Diaspora interview was published. My one worry is — are we ready to take that kind of a traffic? And whether Dr. Shirin knows what she is getting into, because these kind of moves require commitment and dedication. But it seems she does.
I call upon each one of our readers to advance the deeper conscience of the journalist & journalism, each one of you to be the guardians of democracy
Good luck, Dr. Shirin Abbas, I am certain that you will lead TIO admirably will personally look into your pieces. Dear loyal readers, please join me in encouraging and welcoming Dr. Shirin with her column: Point of View–and in wishing her the best. let me leave you with my gratitude for the trust you placed in me and simply say, thank you.