Meera Interview - Part 2
Cinematographer: Zulfiya Hamzaki
Duration: 00:19:02; Aspect Ratio: 1.778:1; Hue: 6.107; Saturation: 0.032; Lightness: 0.474; Volume: 0.304; Cuts per Minute: 0.052
Summary: Meera is one of the senior journalists and editor of Khabar Lahariya. She joined the newspaper when it first started in 2002
and has been an integral part of it since then. She had earlier featured in the film Taaza Khabar (dir. Bishakha Datta), when she was a reporter for
Khabar Lahariya. In this interview, we see Meera's vast experience and expertise that she has developed over the years.
She elaborately speaks about Khabar Lahariya's expansion, training and mentoring the new district teams,
news impact stories, challenges and future plans.
Karwi, Chitrakoot, Bundelkhand, Uttar Pradesh
challenges, team, face, expansion, Khabar Lahariya, new, districts, administration, contact, identity, create, guidance, approach, officals, communication
Meera continues her interview, now talking about the challenges that the Khabar Lahariya team faces when expanding to new districts. Speaking to the administration and making contacts is one of the biggest challenges, until they create an identity and can easy reach out to who they need to speak to. The team is given guidance on how to go about approaching officials and communicating to them.
edition, Mahoba, Lucknow, Faizabad, Banaras, complete, stories, praise, partnership, hurdle, strong, field, proof, ID card
The new editions of Khabar Lahariya include Mahoba, Lucknow, Faizabad and Banaras. Since Mahoba is a small team, a few members from the Banda edition also pitch in so that they can complete their stories. Meera praises the Mahoba team by saying that although they are a small team, for any hurdle, their partnership is strong. Some of the other challenges that the journalists face are that when they go to the field to get stories, they are unable to prove their identity with Khabar Lahariya as they are asked for an ID card for proof. So these things need to be taken of.
beginning, understand, Kavita, meet, discuss, solve, issues, mentor, teamwork, together
Since Meera has been with the Banaras team from the beginning, she feels it's easier to work around their challenges because she is able to understand them well. Kavita (her colleague and Editor of Banda edition) takes care of the Lucknow edition, and so when they meet, they discuss and try to solve issues. One of the most important aspects of mentoring new teams is encouraging teamwork and keeping them together.
On taking and giving responsibilities, Meera feels that she tries to complete all her tasks the best she can and ensures that whoever she gives responsibilities to also completes it and doesn't let work to remain incomplete. She always wants to keep pushing Khabar Lahariya forward and will do whatever is in her capacity to take it ahead.
responsibility, complete, tasks, ensure, forward
Meera talks about the recruiting process of the Khabar Lahariya reporters. One criteria that they look at is education - anyone who has at least studied till eight standard. The other criteria is that she needs to be able to come out of her home to do her work, can speak to people and do reporting on her own and doesn't hesitate to approach men. Her home and rapport with her family is looked at. Her ability to work in a team when at the office is also considered. Sometimes, some of them may have strengths in particular areas, for example if someone is good at distribution or editing, then they are encouraged to do that work.
recruitment, reporters, criteria, education, study, home, outside, work, men, family, strength, distribution, editing, encourage
For the new editions, interviews were carried out. For the Banaras edition alone, there were 30 applications, though they could select only four or five. They look at their work background, whether they know how to use computers, what skills they may not have etc. They also look at what caste they come from as they encourage women from those castes such as dalits who generally do not get many opportunities.
interviews, Banaras, applications, select, background, computers, skills, caste, dalit, opportunity
regional news, impact, stories, MNREGA, ration card, panchayat, knowledge, readers, speak, authority
Talking about regional news and their impact, Meera gives examples of news stories related to MNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act), ration cards and panchayats (local self governments at the village level) that have improved the knowledge of the readers and some of them take steps to talk to authorities for corrective measures.
Meera elaborates on news stories and their impacts. A road in Allahabad was constructed after Khabar Lahariya wrote a story on it, a story on a damaged handpump led to its repair, a school boundary was constructed after Khabar Lahariya reported it. Meera enthusiastically states that those stories that don't get space in other newspapers, Khabar Lahariya will write about it and people know that they will benefit out of it. So people know too that Khabar Lahariya has spunk.
road, Allahabad, constructed, damaged, hundpump, repair, school, boundary, benefit, spunk
In the next five years, Meera wishes to own her own vehicle in which she wants to travel everywhere that she needs to for Khabar Lahariya's work. Khabar Lahariya also has had to deal with threats and notices from authorities which they had to deal with. With the support of her team and her own grit and determination, Meera proudly states that they were able to overcome these tough times and never gave up. Meera's confidence, experience and expertise comes through in this interview, a big leap from her earlier interview in the film Taaza Khabar.
vehicle, travel, work, threats, deal, notice, overcome