INDIA: Abhijeet Kamble has been working as a journalist for 19 years now, in print, TV and digital media and currently is the editor of LetsUpp Marathi. In this episode of 360-degrees Live, Kamble gives a tour of his experiences and anecdotes in his career.
“I have seen my parents do a lot of social services, so since childhood, this has been ingrained in me; to work with people closely and address their issues. I wanted to be in a profession where I can change the situation around me. I happened to come across journalism and media during a time when the profession was at a nascent stage, so I gave a shot at it, and here I am.”
A witness to the evolution of journalism
Kamble said that in his career of 19 years until now, he has witnessed a lot of changes in the media industry.
Today the consumption and coverage of news, and the impact on audience is massively high as compared to when Kamble started off in the industry.
“So when we were working at ETV or Lokmat, the impact of news disseminated was not so large then, and now one scroll can bring drastic changes. Earlier, that is around 20 years back, mostly just metro cities were covered, now news comes from every corner and remote place.”
At the same time, Kamble pointed out that although we are growing and covering massive news, a lot of real issues are going unnoticed, we are not covering the issues of the voiceless people. They are quite a lot of important issues in Maharashtra, that are missing from the media coverage right now.
On new age journalism, Kamble said that digital growth has helped us to democratize space. Earlier we only had the option of newspapers and news channels, so starting as an independent journalist was tough. But today social media has paved the way, particularly for independent journalism. Social media and technology have provided space for the democratization of journalism.
Takeaway from BBC
Most journalists dream of working with balanced and well-known platforms like BBC. And Kamble made the best of this opportunity.
“BBC has maintained their credibility through all these years, I worked with BBC for two and half years. I was working as a planner for BBC Marathi where my role was to plan stories. As a planner, I also had to pitch stories from Maharashtra to other languages, like Telugu, Gujarati or Hindi, and even foreign languages,” Kamble told Transcontinental Times.
“The most important thing I learnt from BBC, was to unlearn. I was so involved with work, I didn’t realise I needed to take a breath, so after going to BBC, I had that realization to ask myself, why am I really doing journalism?”
BBC taught Kamble balance, objectivity and perspective that was missing with other news platforms. At BBC he tried his best to cover the issues of voiceless people, stories of health and sanitisation workers and sugarcane labourers. He also covered the issues of Dalits and Muslims in India.
“In these 19 years, compared to other news channels or newspapers that I have worked with, those 2 years with BBC were most crucial,” the renowned journalist said.