Newsrooms are magical places. They’re high energy daily marketplaces where reporters, editors, designers and desk editors discuss, argue, rewrite and produce the journalism that eventually the world gets to read. It’s messy, intense and exhilarating with a buzz that’s electric and hard to get not addicted to.
If you had to identify one key ingredient for this magic, it was the physical concentration of people. Both print and TV newsrooms typically required most of their staff to work in close proximity to each other daily.
But as we near 3 years since the Covid-19 pandemic upended our personal and professional lives, few talented professionals are willing to accept physical concentration in crowded offices as the prerequisite of a job, much less as its perquisite.
Being a stock market trader once implied shouting out orders on crowded floors with stock tickers flying and phones ringing. It isn’t like that anymore, so why shouldn’t talented journalists have the opportunity to work within talented newsrooms even if they’re not inside the same office? Or even the city or country?
The Ken’s distributed newsroom has been experimenting and iterating since 2016 with exactly this thesis in mind. How do you recreate the magic of a newsroom without forcing everyone into a few offices? How do you encourage side conversations and banter if people aren’t seated next to each other? How do you ideate on stories or projects when people are distributed across not just different cities, but different countries and time zones too?
We’re still very much a work-in-progress, but one we’re incredibly proud of. Our newsroom is the opposite of physically concentrated, in that it’s distributed and diverse.
Distributed because we currently have colleagues working out of 14 different cities across 5 countries. Diverse because our newsroom also includes product designers, podcasters, newsletter editors and producers. Our gender ratio is 45:55.
A distributed and diverse newsroom is not easy to pull off. But it’s something that we hold as central to our operations. It’s what has allowed us to hire talented colleagues like the ones below, all of who have joined us between June and July.
If you’d like to join us, we have a set of exciting and ambitious roles for which we’re currently hiring, including staff writers, desk editors, training editors and graphics designers.
Shashwat Mohanty, Staff Writer
An alumnus of Asian College of Journalism, Shashwat spent 2.5 years at The Economic Times covering clean energy. He followed it up with an eight-month stint doing talent branding at social commerce unicorn Meesho, then he felt the urge to get back to journalism. (Newsrooms are magical because journalism is magical)
Outside of work he loves finding the best restaurants for English breakfast. And watching and discussing basketball, baseball and that all-time brilliant show, The Wire. Shashwat will cover stories around cleantech and Internet. He is based out of Bengaluru, Karnataka and on Twitter as @mohantee.
Sumit Chakraborty, Desk Editor
Sumit joins us from the business daily Mint. Raised in Patna, Sumit decided to become a computer engineer but caught the journalism bug (it’s contagious) while editing the college magazine in his third year. He then went to the Asian College of Journalism.
In addition to Mint, Sumit has worked at The Times of India, NDTV (where he also did a bit of reporting on gadgets), and Financial Express.
A sports fan, Sumit somehow manages to squeeze in 45 minutes of tennis every day. He is also a science fiction aficionado. Sumit is based in Kolkata, West Bengal and on Twitter as @TechTwoSumit.
Vedanth Thirumala, Lead Product Designer
Vedanth is a developer turned designer with over 10 years of experience overall, of which 8 have been in UX & Design across e-commerce, B2B and SaaS products. Most recently, he was the Lead Product Designer at Vymo, a 9-year old venture funded startup that builds sales automation tools for large financial institutions. Before that, he was a senior UX designer at CasaOne, also a venture-funded startup, but one focused on home furniture.
Ved has a Masters degree in Human Computer Interaction from Indiana University. He has a preference for “uncommon food combos” – like dipping ultra-sweet sweets like Mysore Pak in spicy pickles before eating!!
Ved is based in Bengaluru, Karnataka and on Twitter as @WeighedAnt.
Rachel Chitra, Staff Writer
Rachel has over 18 years of experience in journalism, having covered stories in finance, tech, regulation and policy for media houses like Forbes, Reuters and Times of India. Most recently she was the Asia correspondent for Forbes Middle East, covering business and economic trends in China, India & Southeast Asia.
She’s comfortable looking beyond her home zone for stories. These last few years, Rachel been serious about wanting to report on China and SEA – to the extent that she is learning Mandarin and is currently at HSK level-2. She is also a “data junkie” loves trawling websites for trends patterns and working with data, excel sheets and trying to spot trends in a flux of numbers.
Rachel is based in Bengaluru, Karnataka and on Twitter as @RachelChitra.
Gaurav Tyagi, Staff Writer
Gaurav joins us today from Entrackr. He spent almost three years with Entrackr, his first journalism gig, and helped build Fintrackr, which has done a great job of digging into startups’ financials, cap table, ESOPs, etc.
Gaurav spent most of his formative years in Delhi, which is also his favourite city because of his love for food. He loves obsessing over anything with wheels and an engine, hip hop, memes, and all things pop culture.
Gaurav is based in Gurugram, Haryana and on Twitter as @Tyagi0G
Parth Trivedi, Head, Podcasts
Parth joins us to lead up our podcasts team. In his 8-year career after earning an engineering degree, Parth has managed a team, done on-ground events, created content for both radio and digital, developed tech products, managed a restaurant and trained professionals. He joins us from Radio Mirchi, one of India’s biggest radio platforms, where he was head of podcasting and helped build the Mirchi Plus app.
His claims to fame also include creating the country’s most watched made-for-YouTube talk show and breaking the world record for the largest potluck party the planet ever had. Parth will be based in Bengaluru, Karnataka, and on Twitter as @ParthlyRight
Snigdha Sharma, Podcast Producer & Host
Snigdha joins us from the Indian Express, where she was the co-host of their flagship daily show, 3 Things, which has over 8 million yearly plays. Snigdha graduated in 2014 with a degree in journalism and mass communications. She spent the first 4 years of her career as a travel journalist with Outlook Traveler magazine before joining Newslaundry in Delhi where she worked on social media, desk, and podcasts.
Snigdha is based in Kurseong, West Bengal and on Twitter as @SnigdhaSharma9
You can email all of our new colleagues using their [email protected] as their email address.
And a reminder, we’re currently hiring for the following roles on our Careers page.
- Staff Writer (Products & Design)
- Staff Writer (Careers & Workplaces)
- Desk Editor
- Staff Writer – SEA
- Staff Writer (Fintech and Financial Services)
- Editorial Graphics Designer
- Training Editor