Mohan's Musings

Get Started on National Journalism Day!

Illustration of feather pen on paper
© Freepik

Let me recall my first forays into journalism. I had just finished high school in November 1968 and was idling before college. I wrote a letter to the editor of The Indian Express. Getting a letter published in a newspaper was the closest a teenager, with no publishing experience beyond my school magazine, could get to journalism. My letter was about a Test cricketer then in the news because he was out of form. I defended him. In it, I had plagiarized words from psychology I’d seen in an article somewhere about people in any field going through cycles of “progression, stagnation and retrogression”. Big words that must have impressed the editor. My five-inch letter got published. I was thrilled beyond belief — and hooked.

Two years before that, unbeknownst to me, something momentous happened. The Press Council of India (PCI) was established in November 1966. To observe this, India quietly celebrates National Journalism Day every year on 17 November. India has a free Press. So PCI does not control the Press. It is there to protect Press freedoms; to try and maintain high standards of ethics and independence.

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Mohan Sivanand is a journalist and artist. He was with Reader’s Digest for 32 years, serving as the magazine’s India Editor-in-Chief for a decade until his retirement in 2015. He teaches journalism at St Xavier’s College, Mumbai.

Mohan Sivanand

Mohan Sivanand is a journalist and artist. He was with Reader’s Digest for 32 years, serving as the magazine’s India Editor-in-Chief for a decade until his retirement in 2015. He teaches journalism at St Xavier’s College, Mumbai.