While there have been reports of Arnab Goswami quitting, it is undeniable that there is a growing league of traditional journalists and media company owners setting up new media startups. Some of these startups have also raised funds from investors. Award-winning journalist Barkha Dutt and Shekhar Gupta, former editor-in-chief of The Indian Express joined hands and launched a digital media startup called ‘The Print’. Before this Barkha Dutt had resigned from her group editor’s position in NDTV in February last year, but continued being associated with it as consulting the editor. She had announced the new venture on Twitter. Earlier, Raghav Bahl, Network18 Group’s founder and Managing director became one of the first ones to start the digital bandwagon when he unveiled his digital media company Quintillion Media Pvt Ltd late in 2014. Its mobile-first news platform, TheQuint.com went live in March 2015.
Following him, came Siddharth Varadarajan, who in May 2015 Sidharth Bhatia launched The Wire. Varadarajan, earlier was the editor of The Hindu, while Bhatia was one of founding editors of Daily News and Analysis (DNA). During its launch, it had made tie-ups with other news agencies like PTI and IANS to get content, and looked to raise funding. After this followed Arre, a digital media brand, which was set up by Ronnie Screwala and B. Saikumar who was the Network18 Group CEO and Ajay Chacko who was Network18 COO and president of A+E Networks/TV18. Meanwhile, Vikram Chandra recently stepped down from the CEO and executive editor post in New Delhi Television (NDTV). However, he does not have any plans to start any new venture, instead wants to go back to full-time journalism and will work as a consulting editor at NDTV. Naresh Fernandes a journalist from Mumbai started a digital venture called Scroll.in. He previously was the editor-in-chief of Time Out India. Before that, he worked with TOI, Associated Press and The Wall Street Journal in New York.
At a time when the country is witnessing an explosion in the space of entertainment and news, we hope that with more senior journalists joining the bandwagon the online media will be filled with differentiated positioning and content while competing against each other.