As general elections approach, Manu Joseph is the latest to join the list of controversial departures from senior editorial positions in recent times. He announced on his Facebook page yesterday that he had quit Open magazine:
I have quit Open. Will continue as interim editor until a new editor is appointed or the end of March, whichever is sooner.
Third novel, come to me fast.
Hartosh Singh Bal, Open's erstwhile political editor, who had been served a termination notice by the magazine, and has gone to court against the decision, writes in the First Post:
Shortly after I left, [Manu Joseph] had sent out a mail, in fact, it was the last mail to be forwarded to my account before it was terminated, stating:
Just to keep you informed -- we have shortlisted candidates to head politics and news, and are in talks. Naturally, the next political editor of Open will be someone who fits in the magazine, someone who reflects its vibrant, credible, unbiased and what is widely known as 'secular' character. I had long conversations with Sanjiv Goenka from here and we updated each other on matters concerning the magazine. People expect high standards from us, so let's keep going.
On January 6, after months of speculation, PR Ramesh, a journalist considered close to general secretary of the BJP Arun Jaitley, joined the magazine as managing editor. Manu had opposed this decision and he chose to resign once it was forced upon him. I personally feel Manu has himself largely to blame for the tame end of his term at Open. Evidently if the management can sack a political editor without the editor's consent they can appoint a managing editor without the editor's consent. Manu had already conceded the journalistic principle, now he had only been negotiating for personal pride. He was not even granted that.
Read the full piece at the First Post: Manu Joseph’s resignation: The perils of editorial surrender