US-based coffee retail giant Starbucks is teaming up with long-time Indian-American journalist Rajiv Chandrasekaran to produce “constructive” films and TV shows around issues “that matter”
The new media start-up “will create and produce non- fiction, social impact content,” according to the company’s founder Rajiv Chandrasekaran, who bid adieu to The Washington Post for this venture on March 2.
The company will start with producing television and film projects around Chandrasekaran’s 2014 book ‘For Love of Country: What Our Veterans Can Teach Us About Citizenship, Heroism and Sacrifice.’
“I am not doing this so they can sell more cups of coffee. What we are doing is trying to play a positive and constructive role and broaden understanding across the country around issues that matter to our nation,” he said in an interview.
His new venture is an outgrowth of a collaboration last year with Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz on a book about US veterans.
Schultz has made social causes an important part of the company’s mission since he rejoined it full-time in 2008.
Chandrasekaran has had several jobs at The Post, including national editor, assistant managing editor and Baghdad bureau chief.
He is also the author of ‘Imperial Life in the Emerald City,’ a book about the post-invasion reconstruction of Iraq, which won the Overseas Press Club book award and was a finalist for the National Book Award.
Chandrasekaran also covered the David Petraeus affair for The Washington Post, chronicling the scandal’s affect on other military officials, the lifestyle perks afforded a top general and the embattled official’s consultation of civilian military analysts.
Chandrasekaran said his departure from The Post is “not a reflection of how I feel about the newspaper business,” but rather the uniqueness of the opportunity that grew out of his work with Schultz.
“I think the Post is a remarkable place today,” he said, describing it as brimming with energy and dynamism.