Zubair Ahmed has been a journalist for 23 years, most of them with the BBC. He spent six years with the Times of India in India before joining the BBC in 1996 in London. Zubair has covered violence, terrorism, conflicts, politics, business and entertainment. He has widely covered terrorism in Kashmir, north east of India and Mumbai. He won the Sony Radio awards in the breaking news category in England for covering the Mumbai attacks in 2008. Zubair has covered the Presidential elections in Russia, general elections in Bangladesh and several Parliamentary elections in India. He did a series of stories on the divided families in India and Pakistan for which he was given an internal BBC prize for the best treated idea. He has done a couple of documentaries from Pakistan and the Indo-Pak borders for the BBC.
Zubair has reported for the BBC in Britain, Bangladesh, India, Russia and the US. Zubair is currently based in the BBC’s Mumbai bureau in charge of reports from the Western part of India.
Tiamerenla Monalisa Changkija is the Editor and Publisher of Nagaland Page. She started her career as a columnist with Nagaland Times in 1985 and went on to become the Executive editor of the paper when it became a daily. Monalisa distiguished herself as an intrepid journalist with her coverage of the Merapani Wars fought between the police forces of Nagaland and Assam. She further established her reputation when she travelled with her 11-month old baby to cover the then PM Rajiv Gandhi’s visit. Her articles, published in Nagaland and other parts of the country, on the grievances of the Angh of Chui and the gross human rights violations, especially of women there, created a consciousness amongst people of the often forgotten people of Mon district. She has been at the receiving end of both insurgent groups and the armed forces for her reportage and her upholding of journalistic ethic. This “very inconvenient woman”, her description by a Corp Commander, is also an acclaimed poet with two books and her works have been included in numerous anthologies. She was also the only member from the Northeast in the Planning Commission’s National Steering Committee/Working Group on Women’s Empowerment for the 11th Five-Year Plan. Monalisa has presented numerous seminar papers across India on varied subjects particularly on Naga issues, women’s issues, human rights and media.
Anurag Chaturvedi is a senior journalist who during his long career has worked with some of the most respected newspapers and magazines in India. He started work with Dharmayug in 1978. He joined Ravivar as Special Correspondent in 1984 to cover South India. He joined Sunday Observer as Editor in 1989 and later moved as Editor to Mahanagar. He has also worked in radio and television. Presently, he contributes to Prabhat Khabar and Jansatta. He is a trustee of Prayog International Foundation, Apne Aap Women World Wide and Gidhaur Foundation, which work in the realm of social, educational, cultural and health related activities. Born in Udaipur, Chaturvedi has an MA in Sociology from Jawaharlal Nehru University.
Sameer Deshpande is an expert in social marketing, a subject that is closely related to marketing, social change and communication. A communication scholar by training, he has moved to social marketing from his interest in health communications. A Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he has authored numerous papers and book chapters on social marketing. He is presently engaged in conducting research on social marketing projects in India. An expert on panels for such organizations as Centre for Disease Control, he has recently written a book chapter in a book edited by Philip Kotler. He was a speaker at the first World Social Marketing Conference. A media planner in his pre-academic days, Deshpande’s understands media and journalism as both business and as a academic with an abiding concern for social responsibility. He is an Associate Professor at the University of Lethbridge.
Vivek Deshpande is an award-winning journalist with over two decades of experience in journalism, specifically Rural Reporting. He has reported on agriculture, Left-wing extremism, and forests and wildlife from Vidarbha. A Senior Assistant Editor at the Indian Express, he is based in Nagpur. Deshpande is a recipient of the Statesman Award for Rural Reporting, Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Award, Sanctuary Asia-RBS award for wildlife reporting. He was short-listed for the Kurt Schork Award for International Journalism in 2007 for his series of reports on Salwa Judum in Chhattisgarh.
Murali Gopalan has been a journalist for over 24 years. Part of the founding team of Hindu Business Line, he has worked at various positions at Hindu, Business Line, Financial Express, Auto Monitor, Autocar and DNA. Winner of The Hindu Award for academic excellence, he is presently the Business Editor of The Hindu Business Line. He is also a proficient speaker of French.
Shishir Joshi was till recently the Group Editorial Director of the Mid-Day group of publications, which includes Mid-Day (Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Pune), Sunday Mid-Day, Gujarati Mid-Day and Inquilab. Prior to Mid-Day, Joshi was with the TV Today group, where he was executive editor. He has also been editorial consultant for the Sahara group, helping set up TV channels across India as well as recruiting and training professionals for them. Prior to that he was with NDTV as its sole business news correspondent based out of Mumbai. He has worked with CNN.com, written for Reuters and AFP and has contributed to UK based ITN-Channel 4 News and has been the South Asia Representative of Peter Arnett’s Broadcast News Network (BNN TV). A law graduate, he is a Chevening Scholar. He is the co-founder of Journalism Mentor.
Vishwas Kulkarni is a writer based out of Mumbai. He was an art critic with Mid Day before joining the founding team of Mumbai Mirror, first as a freelancer and then as a full-time features editor and art critic. Vishwas’s journalistic focus has been urban sub-cultures, a spectrum that has had him discover the world’s first nudist colony in Thane (founded 1891) to rickshaw drivers who invented the musical genre of Bollywood ‘dhinchaak’. In the course of his career as a journalist and features editor, he has penned over 250 features and articles for Mid Day, Mumbai Mirror, Rolling Stone India, Time Out New Delhi, Man’s World and Art India. He has recently completed a commissioned screenplay for UTV Motion Pictures and is working on his first novel. Vishwas Kulkarni currently works as the entertainment editor of Yahoo! India.
Patricia Mukhim is the Editor of The Shillong Times, Meghalaya’s oldest English language daily and a columnist for The Telegraph and The Statesman. She is a member of the National Security Advisory Board and National Foundation for Communal Harmony, under the Ministry of Home Affairs. She is a member of the State Commission for Consumer Affairs, and is member of the Environmental Advisory Board of the North Eastern Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCo). She is also a member of the Meghalaya State Coordination Committee to Combat Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation of Women. Patricia is a trustee of the Centre for North East Studies and Policy Research (CNES), New Delhi and the Vice President of the Delhi-based Indo Global Social Service Society. For her consistent campaign against corruption and militancy through her forthright columns, she was awarded the Padma Shri in 2000. In 1996, she received the Chameli Devi Jain Award for Outstanding Woman Media Person from the Media Foundation, New Delhi. In 2008 she was given the UN Brahma, Soldier of Humanity Award and in 2009 she was conferred the Shiva Prasad Barooah National Award for Journalism.
Sevanti Ninan is a media critic, author, and founder-editor of the media watchdog TheHoot.org. She worked for the Hindustan Times and Indian Express as a reporter for many years before turning author and columnist. Her books on media include Through the Magic Window, Television and Change in India, (Penguin India, 1995) and Headlines from the Heartland — Reinventing the Hindi Public Sphere (Sage, 2007). She is a contributor to Broadcasting Reform in India, ed. Monroe Price and Stefan Verhulst, (OUP, 1998). She has written a column on the media for The Hindu since 1991, and writes a media column for the Hindi newspaper, Hindustan. In 2001 she launched for the Media Foundation in Delhi a media watch website, Thehoot.org, which strives to raise issues of media ethics, professionalism, and press freedom for India’s community of journalists. She will be Research Mentor for the programme.
Krishna Prasad is the editor of Outlook. In a 22-year career, he has worked in four cities and six publications, taught journalism in three continents, edited three books, and publishes two widely read blogs. Hailed on the pages of The New York Times as “one of India’s brightest young journalists”, Krishna was editor of the now-defunct broadsheet daily Vijay Times of The Times of India group. Best known as one of two journalists who broke the match-fixing scandal that turned the cricketing world upside down, legspinner Krishna has best figures of 3-3-0-5 at the age of 13, and 6-0-69-0 at the age of 30. He stirs everything anti-clockwise. Visit him at www.churumuri.com
V Rajagopal is a historian of modern India, and specializes in writing about the social and cultural changes in south Indian society in the 19th and the 20th centuries. He teaches at the Department of History, University of Hyderabad and offers Master’s level courses on Indian nationalism. After studying Economics from the University of Madras, Rajagopal did his Master’s and M Phil in History from the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. After doing a one-year stint as a journalist on the desk at the Indian Express, he moved back to academics and completed his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has published articles in leading Indian history journals such as the Indian Economic and Social History Review and Studies in History. He has been selected to attend this summer a month-long international seminar on Decolonization being conducted by the National History Center, Washington DC. His other interests are cricket, contemporary politics and the media.
Aloke Thakore is a communications journeyman. At various times he has reported, written columns, authored academic articles, anchored programmes, taught at university and colleges, and coached in news rooms. He has also helped launched newspapers and magazines both as editorial and management consultant. A Media Leadership Fellow of the Poynter Institute for Media Studies, Salzburg Seminar Fellow, 21st Century Trust Fellow and a Socrates Seminar Fellow at the Aspen Institute, he holds a Ph.D. (Mass Communication) University of Wisconsin-Madison; AM (International Relations) University of Chicago; MS (Journalism) University of Kansas; and BA (Hons.) from Calcutta University.
Mahesh Vijapurkar has been a reporter since 1973. The first three years were spent at Indian Express and the last 30 years with The Hindu, with nearly a third of that reporting from rural datelines. He retired as Deputy Editor. Subsequently, he has retrained and inducted journalists into newsrooms with a focus on upgrading their skills, sensitising them to issues of ethics, on managing sources, and how to look at news. During the past ten years, he has taught in journalism courses, and now writes a periodic column for www.rediff.com. Outside of journalism, Vijapurkar has helped put together the Maharashtra Human Development Report, 2000 as a consultant for the United Nations Development Programme, and assisted in putting together a report on the status of social justice in Maharashtra for the Yashwantrao Chavan Academy of Development Administration, which is currently under review of the Maharashtra Government. He also helped shape the Mumbai Human Development Report.
Ajay Umat is senior editor at The Times of India. He was editor of Divya Bhaskar, the largest circulating Gujarati daily. He is also the President of the Governing Council of the Gujarati Media Club. In a career spanning over two decades, he has served as the former Resident Editor of the Gujarati edition of the Times of India, besides being associated with the India Today group and Gujarat Samachar. He was invited to participate in the ‘International Visitors Leadership’ programme on Investigative Journalism sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. In 2010 he was awarded the prestigious Harindra Dave Smurti Paritoshak for his contribution to journalism. Umat is based in Ahmedabad.
Krishna Warrier began his career as a trainee journalist with MiD DAY. He left the paper 22 years later years as Executive Editor, after helping launch its editions in Bangalore, Delhi and Pune. He is currently Editor of Readers Digest. He is passionate about languages, table tennis, history and classical music in that order.
Harini Calamur has 17 years of professional experience in the areas of education, media education, training, media and new media. She has headed brands, strategy, programming and production, and media businesses. She is one of the promoters of Cogito Media Pvt. Ltd – an independent Production House that produces TV Programmes, Feature Films & Documentaries. Her special areas of interest are media and society and their correlation. She is currently working on a project to see how media can be used to deliver education & training in remote areas. An avid blogger and photographer, she has a column in DNA – where she writes about politics, economics, policy and the media. She has a BSc (Hons) Economics & Management Studies, University of London and an MA in MA Communication Policy Studies, City University, London.
Swati Deshpande is Senior Assistant Editor (Law) at the Times of India, Mumbai. She started her career as a trainee reporter with Mid-Day, a city tabloid, in 1995 before moving on to The Free Press Journal (1996), The Pioneer and subsequently, Indian Express (1997 to 1999). She joined the Times of India in 1999, first as a senior reporter then as principal and special correspondent. She has largely specialized in court cases and legal issues. In the span of ten years, she has covered a wide range of subjects including health, education, housing, infrastructure, politics and entertainment.
Prasad Kathe is the Chief Political Correspondent with NDTV. He has over 13 years experience in journalism. He started with print and moved to broadcast within a couple of years. He is based in Mumbai.
Rajas Kelkar is the editorial head of NDTV.com. Previously he was one of the founding team members of firstpost.com, a new current affairs online publication. He has over 17 years experience in business journalism and has worked with mergermarket.com, a Financial Times Group company and Indian publications like Business Standard and The Economic Times at various levels. He is currently responsible for the business content on firstpost.com. He has completed his graduation from the University of Mumbai and was awarded the British Chevening Scholarship for print journalists in India in 2004-05. While in London, he did his internship with the newspaper, The Economist. In 2002, Rajas was invited by the US State Department to be part of the ‘International Visitors Leadership Program’.
Rama Raja Gopalakrishna is a political scientist, with over 40 years of teaching experience. She has taught at the Higher secondary, the Under Graduate and the Post Graduate levels. She has taught Political Science at Sophia College, Mumbai, at the undergraduate level for over a decade. Prior to that she taught Political science at the higher secondary level at SIES College, Mumbai. She has Masters degree in Political Science from the University of Mumbai.
Rukmini Sen is associated with TV Today network as one of its Editors. She presently looks after the network’s entertainment bureau. Apart from entertainment, she has also covered the West Bengal elections of 2010 and the general elections in 1998. She was part of the first live election coverage team of Zee TV. She was also part of the channel launch team of Aaj Tak when it was launched in 1999. She launched and produced Seedhi Ba’ath, a very popular talk show hosted for a long time by senior journalist Prabhu Chawla, and Cinema Aaj Tak apart from other shows in networks she has been associated with. She has also produced Special Correspondent, an award winning show on Zee News. Currently, with TV Today, she closely follows trends in world cinema, gender politics and public health stories.
The biographical details contain the present institutional/organizational affiliation of the mentors for informational purposes only. It does not constitute an endorsement or approval of Journalism Mentor by these media organizations or vice versa. Mentors serve only in a personal capacity.