Kargil was a very emotional experience: Vikram Chandra
Covering the Kargil War was a very emotional experience. I was with the Naga Battalion while covering the story and after I returned to Delhi, they were ambushed. I was told about this right before the 9 o'clock News. It was a very emotional moment for me and it was quite tough to do the news reading that night.
8. You are a news anchor as well as the CEO of NDTV Networks. How different are these two responsibilities? How do you balance them both?
Being the CEO is a job I have drifted into. I had got into media to become a reporter, not an anchor but to be a journalist. Now that I have drifted into management, I don't get much time for journalism.
9. You also anchor the show 'Gadget Guru'. Are you a 'gadget freak'? What is your favourite gadget?
Yes, I enjoy gadgets. In fact all the college folks associate me with gadgets instead of Kashmir. (Smiles) My favourite gadget has to be my iPad.
10. You have been very closely involved in the GREENATHON movement and the 'Save the Tiger' campaign. What made you become a part of this?
Most of us get into journalism to do good and to be a force for good. These campaigns are closest to my heart from the work I am doing because they enable me to make a difference and see people's lives transform. Through the GREENATHON we have brought electricity to more than a thousand villages across India. Through campaigns like 'Save the Tiger', we can get specific commitments from people and see that they follow through on them and we can get tangible positive impact. Taking help from stars and celebrities helps the movement to reach a much wider audience.
11. A large chunk of your viewership is the youth. Do you think they get attracted to issues or to stars?
I think it's a bit of both. If they end up watching the programme and get the message and work on it, our mission is successful.
12. What do you think about the position of journalism in today's world of 24x7 media?
The TV world has been distorted for a long time. When the transmission was analog, the channels were entirely dependent on advertising and TRP. So, instead of chasing stories and good journalism, they ended up chasing TRP. I believe digitization will bring back good journalism in TV.
13. You went to St. Stephen's College followed by Oxford and then Stanford Universities. These are dream colleges for most of our youth. What advice would you give to our readers about applying to such universities?
Well, I was in Stanford for just three months. However, these international universities are looking for well-rounded individuals. So, academics and co-scholastic activities like debating and dramatics are equally important. What the students need to keep in mind is that securing admission is not enough; education abroad is very expensive and so getting scholarships is critical. I secured admission in Oxford University but deferred it by a year. The next year, I won the Inlaks Scholarship and went to Oxford through it. Scholarships like Rhodes and Inlaks need a good co-scholastic record also. So try not only to secure admission in prestigious universities but also to arrange for a scholarship to pay the fees.
(The CoolAge reporter is now trying to focus on his dramatics along with listening to Dire Straits)
Filed under: Alumni Secrets
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