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Summary:

The answer (from this NYT story): due to a “troubling nexus” of business, politics and publishing that proved to be “draining on body and so…

The answer (from this NYT story): due to a “troubling nexus” of business, politics and publishing that proved to be “draining on body and soul”.

Raju Narisetti came to India in 2006 to set up a business newspaper for HT Media, leaving The Wall Street Journal, where he worked for 13 years and rose to become deputy managing editor. Mint was launched in February 2007 and won acclaim for the quality of its journalism. The latest round of the Indian Readership Survey said Mint was the country’s second-largest business paper after The Economic Times. (Disclosure: I worked at Mint for two years.)

Suddenly in December 2008, HT Media announced Narisetti was stepping down as editor of Mint. Narisetti did not send a newsroom-wide email prior or since explaining his decision to leave. Subsequently, he joined The Washington Post as managing editor.

In a June 2009 interview with Forbes India, Narisetti said this about his departure: “The succession planning process was always carefully thought through from the time Mint’s Editorial Leadership Team was put together. In the fall of 2008, it became very clear to me that key members of the team were ready and raring to take on larger roles … Rather than hold off smart successors because I had nothing else to do, I decided to look for jobs outside Mint. That I didn’t have anything specific lined up when I stepped down didn’t bother me as I could have actually used the break after nearly three all-consuming years in India.”

The New York Times, in a story on Indians trained in the West who find it difficult to come back and work in India, features Narisetti’s case.

  1. seems to be consistent?…even in the Forbes interview he talks of "all-consuming" years and in the full NYT story talks about India taking a toll on "body and soul" I was a fan of Mr Narisetti's Romantic Realist blog where he often talked about these troubling issues. It is too bad there is no longer an editor in India willing to publicly raise these issues after Mr Narisetti left. Still, I find Mint continues to be a refreshing change from other business papers, a more interesting Narisetti legacy to focus on than the conspiracy theories that seem to abound in Delhi media circles.

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  2. When Narisetti says that he leaved it voluntarily then we must all agree to it and no speculations should be raised about the Indian environment or anything else.
    http://www.hindlist.com

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  3. Sachin Korgaonkar Wednesday, December 2, 2009

    It is very difficult to adjust myself to agree with Mr. Narisetti's comments after following his blog on mint for one year. We must investigate and discuss these issues openly to avoid such cases, since it is affecting our growth internally.

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  4. elizabeth eapen Thursday, December 3, 2009

    have fodder, will gossip. but vikram ramesh's comment above, that … "Mint continues to be a refreshing change from other business papers, a more interesting Narisetti legacy to focus on than the conspiracy theories that seem to abound in Delhi media circles." needs a resounding AMEN.

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  5. Sachin–shouldn't the focus be on what he said about the nexus of media, politics and business than why he left per se or his comments about ethics?
    There are several tweets and a blog post elsewhere about Indian media that noted how most Indian newspapers ran that same NYT article but totally edited out Mr Narisetti's comments. Doesn't that prove his point? Not sure what or who will "investigate" since most editors, journalists, bloggers know all too well how media operates. Mint was and perhaps is a huge exception and that we owe Mr Narisetti a big thanks since he proved, it seems like, that with strong Indian homegrown talent a paper like Mint could indeed stay independent and do honest journalism. And if you needed evidence see the comment from Elizabeth Eapen. If I am not mistaken, she was until recently part of Mint's editorial leadership team and now at a rival paper. For an ex employee to publicly acknowledge Mr Narisetti's legacy is just yet another indicator of how unusual Mint and his leadership were.

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  6. Just look at the Mint Editorial Leadership Team now! Where have all the founding members gone? And it will give you a clear picture!

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  7. anita–lets look.
    sukumar, niranjan, priya, anil, tamal, manas, venkatesha, harjeet from the narisetti regime, terrific additions in monika halan and nabeel….not sure what your point is. at least three left when narisetti was still running the show and a couple after.
    the leadership team is mostly who narisetti handpicked and put in place. their style is definitely different and it has an impact but isn't that the point of a change in leadership?

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  8. Mint's a great place to work in.
    And I am perfectly happy here.
    Why did Raju take more than an year to talk about this nexus between politics, business and publishing? And my question to him is -Is the US any different?

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  9. I agree with you Poonam!

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  10. vikram ramesh Friday, December 4, 2009

    Mint employee–I once emailed Mr Narisetti about it for a journalism project I was working on. His response was telling. He said he didn't believe in former editors "casting a long shadow" and no one, including him, was larger than Mint, the organization, and that it was never a one-person show so it doesn't matter as long as the team that is there believes in Mint's "founding values." I thought that was admirable given how dithering old editors always hang around our journalism circles.

    To me the worrisome issue isn't if one country is the same or not…it is just the fact that there are such ethical issues that aren't being dealt with directly.

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