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Mr. Prabhu Chawla, Editorial Director of The New Indian Express addressess the budding journalists of Amity School of Communication

“At 66, I am the youngest anchor on television,” said Prabhu Chawla, adding, “others are less than 30, and I have to compete with their good looks all the time”. The anchor of ”Seedhi Baat’’ on Aaj Tak and ``Teekhi Baat-Prabhu ke Saath’’ on IBN 7 was taking about the tough competition that aspiring journalists would face when they step into the media.

Editorial Director of The New Indian Express, Mr. Prabhu Chawla, visited Amity University, Noida, as a guest speaker for the lecture series organised by Amity School of Communication on September 6 and interacted with the students. He was welcomed by Maj Gen K Jai Singh, Group Vice Chancellor, Amity Universities and Prof R K Dargan, Director, Amity School of Communication. Introducing Chawla, Prof. Dargan, described him as a man who is “forthright, fearless and frank”. “I have never missed his shows,” he said.

One needs to have substance and content in order to be a good journalist. Good looks and contact can help only to a certain extent. This was the main message that Chawla had to give to the aspiring journalists in ASCO. “You will score only when you have facts,’’ he emphasised. Ruing the poor quality of journalism nowadays, he said that it was important for budding journalists to read, know facts, verify information and recognise people. Unless a journalist is armed with information, he or she cannot possibly gain any kind of respect, he added.

``We journalists are known for the last piece of work that we do, be it an article or a talk show. We are known by the by-lines,” he said, emphasising on he need to perform better every time.

Speaking about the modest background that he came from, Chawla said that he came into journalism by accident. Having started his career as an Economics lecturer in Delhi University, the outspoken anchor advised the students to always “ask the right questions.”

He said it was important to be a journalist, and not a stenographer. ``I treat the people on my shows as my targets and not guests, because then I would not be able to ask the tough questions’’, he said. Freedom of press must go along with responsibility, he added.

Communication methods and instruments keep changing with time, but what remains constant is one’s attitude, he stated. “Not that we want to change, but time brings a change in the society and our job as a journalist is to find facts and draw a conclusion,” he said. He added that a journalist should not be biased towards any issue, because the moment it is a biased viewpoint, it ceases to become news, and turns into an editorial driven piece. Although it is human character to be biased about certain things, it should not reflect in a journalist’s work.

Being a firm believer of ‘truth’ being the sole basis of a journalist’s work, he opined that journalists should speak nothing but the truth. Chawla also addressed several questions put forth by the students.

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