Paranjoy Guha Thakurta
Independent Journalist and Educator
Paranjoy Guha Thakurta is an independent journalist and an educator. His work experience, spanning over 36 years, cuts across different media: print, radio, television and documentary cinema. His main areas of interest are the working of the political economy and the media in India and the world, on which he has authored/co-authored books and directed/produced documentary films.
Born on October 5, 1955 and educated at St. Stephen’s College, University of Delhi (1972-75) and at the Delhi School of Economics (1975-77) in the same university from where he obtained his Master’s degree in Economics, he started his career as a journalist in June 1977 and has been employed with various media organizations including companies bringing out publications such as Business India, BusinessWorld, The Telegraph, India Today and The Pioneer. He worked with Television Eighteen (now Network 18) for almost six years between 1995 and 2001 when he anchored a daily discussion programme called “India Talks” on the CNBC-India television channel -- nearly 1,400 half-hour episodes of which programme were broadcast. From March 2007, he has been anchoring two one-hour-long weekly programmes for Lok Sabha Television (the channel owned and operated by the lower house of the Parliament of India) – a panel discussion called “Talktime” (earlier “Headstart”) and an interview programme called “1-on-One”.
He is a visiting faculty member at reputed educational institutions including the Indian Institutes of Management at Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Bangalore and Shillong, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Jamia Millia Islamia, Jamia Hamdard University (all in Delhi), the Asian College of Journalism, Chennai, the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, the Film & Television Institute of India, Pune, the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie and the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, New Delhi, among others. He has been a visiting professor in the Department of Political Science, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Delhi, between 2010 and 2013 teaching M.Phil students and a visiting scholar in residence at the Visva Bharati University, Santiniketan.
He served as a member of the Press Council of India nominated by the University Grants Commission between January 2008 and January 2011. In April 2010, as a member of a two-member sub-committee of the Council, he co-authored a 36,000-word report entitled “Paid News: How corruption in the Indian media undermines democracy”. He is a media trainer and a consultant/adviser on India’s political economy. He was the founder director of the School of Convergence (SoC). He has been a consultant at the Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore, making presentations and writing papers on Indian politics. He has been associated with a number of projects of the United Nations Development Programme and the International Labour Organization (ILO). He has moderated discussions at the International Labour Conference at Geneva, Switzerland, in June 2009 and at the ILO’s Asia Pactific Regional Meeting in Kyoto, Japan, in December 2011.
He served for two years (2011-13) as president of the Foundation for Media Professionals, an independent, not-for-profit organization based in Delhi.
He has co-authored a book with Shankar Raghuraman entitled: “A Time of Coalitions: Divided We Stand”, published by Sage Publications India in March 2004.
He has written “Media Ethics: Truth, Fairness and Objectivity, Making and Breaking News” published by Oxford University Press India in March 2009 – the second enlarged edition of the book was published in December 2011. In April 2014, he wrote and published "Gas Wars: Crony Capitalism and the Ambanis" with Subir Ghosh and Jyotirmoy Chaudhuri.
He has contributed articles and chapters to books (including “Realizing Brand India” edited by Sharif D. Rangnekar [Rupa, 2005], “India: The Political Economy of Reforms” edited by Bibek Debroy & Rahul Mukherji [Bookwell, 2004]) and "Journalism: Ethics and Responsibilities": edited by Seema Mustafa [Har Anand, 2013].
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