Outlook sacks Editor in Chief: If you want to see the hallmark of the ruling party’s grip on media institutions and the treatment of journalists who do impartial journalism, then take a look at what happened to the Group Editor-in-Chief of ‘Outlook’ magazine.
Ruben Banerjee, Group Editor-in-Chief of Outlook magazine, reached office on Wednesday after 33 days off, joined and asked senior editors to do a story on ‘Abbajan and Yogi’ for the next cover story. Two hours later, he was dismissed from his job. The company’s chief executive Indranil Rai fired him for indiscipline.
Banerjee told The Print magazine, “I said on September 12 that I was not feeling well, so my leave should be extended. Since when has it become indiscipline to join duty?”
He disagreed with the magazine’s management over the issue of the magazine’s content as they had published a story criticizing Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Chief Executive Indranil Rai says he was absent during the ambitious digital launch of Outlook magazine. But before that he had admitted that Banerjee’s leave application had been approved.
He had written a mail to Banerjee saying that ‘he disagrees with her point of view, but these issues will be discussed when he gets well and joins the office’.
Rai told ‘The Print,
“The issue was about the digital journey of the institution. I wanted a young and sharp journalist, but Banerjee had a different idea. He understood that I was sidelining him, whereas it was not so. He decided to go on leave.”Indranil Rai, Chief Executive, Outlook
Ruben Banerjee was appointed editor of Outlook magazine in 2018. He was made the Chief Editor of the magazine, ‘Outlook Money’ and Chief Editor of ‘Hindi Outlook’ in 2019. This year he was made the Group Editor-in-Chief.
“With so many promotions it is clear that I was good at my job. The problem was with the content of the magazine. The management was not happy with the kind of content we were publishing,” Banerjee told The Print.
He gave examples of material printed on Pegasus and the Tater Laws.
The cover story in the May edition of the magazine was ‘Missing’. This meant that the government was ‘missing’ during the second wave of Corona. BJP leaders and government ministers had expressed their unhappiness over this to the management as well as the editor-in-chief.
Managing Director Sunil Menon also resigns
The company’s Managing Director Sunil Menon said in a tweet that ‘this chapter should now be closed. Ruben Banerjee was my last editor, thank you.’ But Menon said his resignation was personal and not because of Ruben Banerjee’s resignation.
‘He does not find himself and his values in line with the direction things are going in this institution’, he added.
Earlier on Monday, Chinki Sinha was appointed editor of the magazine.
Let us tell you that ‘Outlook’ magazine belongs to the Rajan Raheja Group, whose first editor Vinod Mehta started in 1995. Currently, the group consists of ‘Outlook English’, ‘Outlook Hindi’, ‘Outlook Money’, ‘Outlook Business’ and ‘Outlook Traveller’.