Almost three months and a different ball game. But things seem to be on track ever since I ushered in economic journalism. In a general newspaper, what is the driving spirit of a reporter? Upon my experience, it is your being sensitive to the happenings around. Lot of passion, sentiments and emotion are involved in general reporting. Whereas, in business reporting it is more about arithmetic sense, adeptness in technical aspects and precision in handling the subject.
One career advantage I have foreseen while shifting to a business paper was the scope of learning and understanding vis-à-vis the dynamics of the economy. In that count, it is productive. But all depend on how well you make use of it.
When covering the garbage-ridden politics of Kochi Corporation, I enjoyed my colleagues calling me ‘garbage reporter’. Interestingly, my first business story was about a municipal waste-based bio-diesel project. On the 21st day in the new paper, when the story saw light, the overwhelming feeling was not delight but was a sort of relief. Because by the time, I had become hostage to an ominous failure fear.
In the initial days of auto reporting, I was apologetic to say that I am covering automobiles. Though, a lot of the industry terminology and nuances remain beyond my grip, this is really an interesting area. And I am particularly happy with a host of auto stories which have a green touch. I started with a story on retrofitting industry. A failed story attempt on CNG/LPG-fitted vehicles in the early Indian Express days had taught me about the environmental relevance of that breed of vehicles. It benefited me now, two years later. The government-move to grade vehicles on the basis of fuel efficiency is a story that I cherish.
When pursuing certain story ideas on electric scooters, I just discovered that my first automobile story was in the City Express, one and a half years back. I did not keep that story on e-bikes which was recently introduced in the city on my personal folder, since I was unhappy with the placement. This time, a big scale e-scooter initiative gave me a New Year story. And I had a feature story too; on Indian student engineers whose rural oriented inventions bagged UN awards.
Two water-shed events in the Indian automobile industry happened in the last fortnight: Ford-Tata deal and the coming of Nano. Thankfully, I got my slice of stories. That too, when I have almost reconciled to a belief that I am not good enough to do them. 12 stories including two page ones, I am happy. One thing that I still do not know is if I am strong enough to face the risk of trumpeting these small joys.