27 January, 2021

Il Miglior Editore

Beneath the neon and tinsel his publications battled for the only things that matter in journalism: liberty, equality, justice, equity.

Narendra Bisht
Il Miglior Editore
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

It was around this very time twenty years ago—mid-March, the semuls in unleafed bloom—that I first met Vinod Mehta. It seems appropriate that we met over a long animated Chinese lunch. Food and conversation—some would say gossip—were his abiding passions, along with the reason for our meeting, the launch of a new publication. We found a language immediately: few things are more important between colleagues in journalism. He was trying to emerge from a bruising phase of his life. In less than seven years, he had launched, helmed and quit three newspapers. He was the doctor who killed the lovely babies he delivered.

The truth, as ever, was not so simple.

The problem was he was an outstanding editor of the transition phase, arguably the finest. Before him—for reasons of propriety or editorial ineffectuality—the media owners had by and large left editors alone, who in turn, caring nothing for the profit and loss, had kept their focus on staying lofty. In the after, editors would become owners and owners become editors and it would...

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