Given the mind boggling growth of TV and online media and a trillion ways to connect with people from virtually anywhere, it is extremely difficult to make an impression in the minds of people and it is even more tougher to sustain that and stay on top of people’s minds! Only very few immensely talented, focused and genuine people manage to do that. They have solid grounding in domain knowledge, keep updating themselves and most of all, they are approachable, respond to feedback and are helpful. Today, we have the absolute pleasure of chatting with one such wonderful person, Fatima Karan.
We are sure that most of you know her very well, here is a short bio for your reference.
Fatima Mahdi Karan is Consulting Editor at Bloomberg TV India. She anchors daily prime time shows including the channel’s flagship evening property, ‘The Final Word’. Prior to joining the Indian media in 2005, she was a banker in London. She has a double major in Economics and International Relations and a Masters in Diplomacy, Law and Business.
Fatima has profiled top voices from the fields of politics, business and the arts. She is particularly interested in showcasing more female voices on Indian television. Fatima has also initiated and anchors ‘Bloomberg Women Mean Business’. The latter is a platform for women of impact to discuss relevant ideas and themes.
Our favorite memory is the fact that she used to effortlessly host business and general news shows with the ability to switch between both very easily! That is a very clear statement of her aptitude and versatility. She is also very strong in the field of banking and understands global and local business worlds very intricately. She is a mother of two and is a very outstanding example of how working mothers are adept at multi-tasking. So without much ado, here’s our chat with her.
Tell us more about yourself and how you chose journalism as a profession.
I had just moved to India after getting married; having been in banking I found myself drawn to business news. I was eager to contribute to the research side; one thing led to another and I was hired as a business anchor for a general news channel. I eventually found myself anchoring general news!
What is the toughest thing about being a TV journo?
I would say keeping up with the never ending stream of information as well as tracking all sorts of information platforms! I do however really enjoy this as well!
Is being a woman a challenge in your line of work? How?
No. Not at all. I am surrounded by great colleagues and confident women at Bloomberg TV India; the latter really helps in enjoying my work environment.
Has it ever happened that important personal commitments have had to take a backseat due to work?
I leave my children every day to be at work and give it my best; I do however feel that planning and clear communication always helps!
You have the rare quality of being able to laugh at yourself, we saw you simply nail a Newslaundry show! How much fun was that?
It was a complete and total blast! I love to laugh and I have always felt that there is a lot more room for satire as well as humour in the Indian news space. Madhu’s call to come in as a guest host was just too much fun as I think news channels need to generally reflect on how they sound on certain issues!
What are the differences between a 24×7 news channel and a 24×7 business news channel?
I speak for my experience at Bloomberg TV India; we stick to news that consumers can use as well as leverage our global brand to give our viewers a mature and informed update on what they need to know. I am not sure that is the case any more with general news that seems very dramatic and always angry!
Do you like or hate Mondays?
I love Mondays as they give me an opportunity to start another week fresh and open to more learning! I also think a Monday morning sort of sets the stage for how you will reign in for the rest of the week.
The question is- how do I feel on Sunday nights :)?
Your thoughts on the adversarial relationship between social and mainstream media?
I do not think it is an adverse equation; the more I look around, I feel both gain from each other. At the end of the day we are trying to keep the viewer informed and with knowledge being easily accessible. The key is to stay credible and valuable.
How do you think women are faring as professionals now vis-a-vis men?
I think women with great support structures can really go a long way. If you are good at your job and care for what you do, and you have the resources to stay employed without handling the the stresses that come with this sense of having to be perfect in all streams- you are all set. The biggest problem is that women join the work force but not all can stay in it!
If you could change one thing in the TV News world, what would it be?
I would ask for people to Keep Calm And Just Give The News.
How is tech helping your profession?
In every way! As a mother of two I have to stay away from the studio till a certain time. My phone is key to keeping me plugged in on all levels. Tech makes me flexible as I don’t have to physically be at a desk to get the job done.
You suddenly meet your younger self from 5 years ago. What will you tell her?
Stay off the carbs! Ha! In all seriousness, there is not much difference in my attitude then and now. I was always very clear about working hard, loving those I care for and playing hard when I want to!
What’s your take on the ludicrous statements some people in public offices have been making about women?
Power does not translate to intellectual or emotional intelligence.
What would you tell people who are aspiring to be journalists?
Ensure you know how to tell your great grand mom the story, in so many words and also be able to translate why it matters and why it is significant!
What is your favorite quote?
There is nothing more erotic than a good conversation!
Do you have time for a hobby? If so, What is it?
I don’t but I do, sometimes at bizarre hours – find myself listening to music on headphones! It is what I love to do when I think I have had enough!
We must say that we are extremely happy that we met someone who likes Monday – the dreaded start of the week that we all genetically fear! We sincerely thank Fatima for doing this and wish her well. Please stay your awesome and rocking self! More power to you!
Let us know what you think in the comments! We will be back soon with another great person to talk to!