Preeti Biswas

Principal correspondent at The Times of India.

  • Describe a typical day at work for you?

    My day starts with sending a 50-100 words brief of the story that I will be working on. According to the requirement of the story, I meet/call officials, people. If it's a breaking news, I send a brief story online and alert our readers and the bureau on whatsapp/social media platforms such as Twitter. Subsequently, I file a detailed report before the deadline and submit it. The report is then edited, designed and placed in the pages before being published.

  • Is there a way to identify fake news from what is authentic?

    If it's an image/videos then there are various free tools that are available to fact-check such as a basic Google reverse image search. Texts forwarded on Whatsapp and other mediums are generally difficult to verify but can be traced back to the source after thorough investigation and with the help of cybercrime officials

  • How do you ensure that your news pieces are unbiased?

    By ensuring that voices of all those related to the story are published and facts are published as is without any alterations

  • How has journalism changed over the years? How has that impacted aspirants in training?

    Advent of social media has changed the dynamics of journalism a lot over the years. It is no more about just writing a report or shooting a story. Social media platforms such as Twitter and Whatsapp play a major role in dissemination of information. Aspirants have to be more enterprising now in terms of understanding the potential of social media

  • How do you ensure that your writing is unbiased? What other aspects do editors look at when a story is submitted?

    By covering all aspects of the story such as quotes of people, officials etc. Editors often look at more and more information and a 360 degree coverage of any story with visuals, graphics, photographs and illustrations

  • What is the key to pitching a story that you think is worth publishing?

    You follow your instinct :)

  • What are the perks of being a journalist?

    The larger network that you are connected with which includes public and it's representatives is a perk. You are like the bridge between the people and their representatives

  • What is the key to pitching a story that you think is worth publishing?

    Follow your instinct. Never stop yourself from pitching a story. Sometimes stories which you may reject may be liked by your bosses. So never hesitate from pitching any story. It's always worth giving a shot

  • What was the most challenging moment in your career?

    Reporting a student suicide at a university in Hyderabad which triggered protests across the country

  • What's the advice you would like to give to an aspiring journalists?

    Connect, read, research, verify, record, photograph, write, edit, design, publish

  • What are the 3 things every successful journalists must-have?

    1. Nose for news

  • What role did your educational background play in your career?

    I learnt nuances of reporting in all three mediums -- print, electronic and social media. It helped me understand the fundamentals of journalism. Internships at reputed two reputed television organisations helped me understand newsroom operations which further enhanced my skills.

  • What are the 3 things every successful journalists must-have?

    1. Nose for news

  • What is your advice to youth who want to become a journalist?

  • How has journalism changed over the years?

  • What training does a news journalist essentially have to undergo?

  • Can you share some tricks for being an efficient journalist?

    I don't think so there are any such quick tricks to be an efficient journalist. You just have to ensure that the news report presented by you is factually correct and covers all angles of a story. It cannot be biased and should give equal voice to each one related to the story. Ultimately, every story should be worth reading or watching

  • What training does a news journalist have to undergo?

    Today, there are several colleges that offer journalism courses. For every medium/role there is different training that one has to undergo. If you want to be a reporter, then you need to undergo training to extract information from different sources. If you want to be an editor, you need to have command over your language and be able to weed out errors. If you want to be an anchor, you need to be articulate and be able to present your ideas. It varies from mediums to roles.

  • Can you share some best practices at a preparatory stage that would help aspirants hone their future skills as journalists?

    Developing a network is a very integral part of being a journalist. At a preparatory stage, start being more aware about your surroundings. Find out little things such as who is the corporator of your area, find out all the details aboit him/her. Everyday choose one person (police man, MP, MLA, politician etc.) and dig all details about that person. Getting information through different sources is the key in journalism. And that is possible only when you are aware of your surroundings and are able to build a network with people/officials.

  • How do you ensure the legitimacy of your news sources?

    Verifying and re-verifying is the only way to ensure credibility and legitimacy

  • When do you know that a story is ready to publish?

    When all the facts are placed without any biases and when every person related to the story has been represented. That's when I know it is ready to be published

  • What is your advice to youth who want to become a journalist?

    Journalism has its own advantages and disadvantages. But it's a job that requires a lot of commitment and often some sacrifices. With higher penetration of news on social media, one always has to be alert and abreast with what's happening around. My advice would be, enter journalism only if you are passionate about it. That status of 'PRESS' comes with a lot of responsibility.

  • How do you cope with the stress of tight deadlines?

    It is said that journalists are fastest decision makers on the planet. Deadlines do cause stress but the adrenaline rush that you get when you see your name printed in the newspaper, face on the television channel or voice on the radio always keeps one motivated

  • How can aspiring journalists step into the field of journalism?

    Pursue some internships in medium of your choice (print, electronic or social media) to understand where your interest lies and then approach the organisations for jobs