Home truths from the man behind Sachchi Baat

Former India Today editor Prabhu Chawla continues to enthrall with his answers on the website of The New Indian Express.

Volume I. No II.


Q: I haven’t got any news on the launch of Sunday Standard in Delhi. Have you shed your plans or postponed its launch? If so, when are you going to launch it?

A: We delayed the launch due to some technical problems and holi holidays. We would now be on news stands early next month.

Q: In what ways, are you going to launch Sunday Standard as something different from that of TOI Crest or Sunday Guardian?

A: We are not competing with anyone. There is no alternative to the Express DNA left behind by great Ram Nath Goenka.

Q: Why are there no Indian literary magazines, in English, of the stature of Granta or New Yorker? The New Indian Express group publishes a good one in Malayalam called ‘Malayalam Varika‘. Why not a good literary magazine in English?

A: Good idea. We will think about it.

Q: These days, when the highest selling newspapers peddle infotainment at the expense of serious journalism, is there any space left for newspapers to do any serious journalism, like in the late 70s and 80s?

A: Media must change with the times and also cater to the taste of new and young readers. But Indian Media, by and large, hasn’t given up serious reporting. Only a small percentage of its total space has been given to entertainment sector.

Q: When journos become power broker what would happen to free media?

A: We will lose freedom of expression. But Indian media is still the most fearless and independent. All the latest scams have been broken by the media only.

Q: I personally feel that the news content published on Sunday Express is less when compared to other papers published on Sundays. Would you take steps to increase the content?

A: Even if our quantity may be less, but quality of our news is much better. We will try to give more of more news.

Q: Why is TNIE not covering all the recent negative developments in Orissa?

A: What do you mean by negative developments? We cover news on merit and not because of it negative or positive nature. We don’t have any agenda other than reporting without fear or favour.

Q: Why are all the fearless columnists missing now in Editorial/OpEd pages? Almost all articles appearing in the paper now look like they’re being sponsored. Is this the end of TNIE?

A: Please let me know the names of so called fearless columnists you are missing.

Q: It looks like Aditya Sinha‘s departure and your entry have brought an end to the neutral stand taken by the TNIE? Do you have any plan to make the TNIE another pseudo-secular media?

A: Individuals like me come and go and they don’t matter. Institutions do and they survive individuals. TNIE group remains what it was when great Ram Nath Goenka started it- fearless.

Q: The New Indian Express is way behind its competitors in TN, AP and Karnataka. With the Deccan Chronicle and TOI eyeing the Kerala market, the NIE is bound to lose its strong base in Kerala too. Do you have any plans to end the marginalisation?

A: Please competition brings the best out of you. It is great news for us as all of us will be able to create new readership for English newspapers. Finally, readers will have many more options. They will choose the best. We are better than the best!

Q: The Hindu is serialising ‘WikiLeaks’ documents. It says that no money has been paid for the documents. The Hindu is known for its Marxist-Islamist agenda. They are certain to doctor the WikiLeaks documents in favour of CPM, China and Iran. Would you agree?

A: Sorry. I differ with you. The Hindu is doing a great professional job on Wikileaks.

Q: Why don’t you dispatch the New Indian Express (Chennai Edition) by air to Mumbai like ‘The Hindu‘ does?

A: We can do it only if a subscribe sends us a request because it involves extra cost. We are finding some solution.

Q: I believe your answer in this section as TNIE editor will always be a diplomatic one. Is there any other platform where we can get Mr. Prabhu’s personal opinion?

A: I am not a duplicitous personality.

Also read: Straight drives from the man behind Seedhi Baat


  1. Not A Witty Nick

    yaarpa interiew maaDiddu?

  2. Recently I had a chance to see Shri Prabhu Chawla’s in a debate telecast on CNN IBN. He was sounding like a spokesperson of the Congress Party.

    Shri Manish Tiwari was also in the debate, but he sounded much more moderate as compared to Prabhu Chawla. It was amazing to see Prabhu Chawla go out of his way in defending the UPA.

    I liked Prabhu Chawla when he used to do “Seedhi Baat” on TV. Since leaving India Today he is only doing Sarkari Baat…, which is sooooo boring… Yawn!

  3. Krishna Kumar

    In India, Editors are big people who never respond to mails from ordinary readers like us. Mr.Prabhu Chawla must be congragulated for having the humility and patience for doing so.

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