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Anita Pratap

CNNs Delhi bureau chief is the first Indian to win the George Polk Award

Anita Pratap
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+0553
What does this award means to you?
It means a lot. It is international recognition of high qualityjournalism.It was very good piece of jounalism under very difficult circumstances.

You won this award as a TV journalist, while you have essentially been associated with print.
This proves all the more that I made the right move. I have won the award after six months of working in television.

How difficult was it to make this transition from print to TV?
The two media are quite different. TV is a very powerful medium, yet it has its limitations. But the people in Atlanta, especially Ed Turner, were very supportive.

How important was the training you received after joining CNN?
It was critical. I went to Atlanta to see how the channel works and then to the Bangkok bureau to see what running a bureau was all about. These twin experiences helped in making the transition much easier.

CNN is full of celebrities. What is it like working with them?
They don't behave like stars. There is no arrogance, though TV does give you stardom.

Being a foreign network, how sensitive is CNN to news from India?
The news has to be interesting, relevant. The channel is hungry for news and features.

How does the Afghanistan experience compare with Colombo?
The risks were there in both places. Afghanistan was more difficult as the Taliban had banned television and women weren't supposed to work. In Colombo, I was faced with several life-threatening situations and had only myself to rely on.

Will television take over from print?
TV is getting more and more popular. Print has to do some re-adjusting. There is no justification for a fortnightly newsmagazine. Today, that's redundant.

Wasn't Time magazine's reach greater?
CNN is watched in four million households in India. Time, when I was working there, went to 50,000 in India. CNN's reach is fantastic. In Pakistan you can't walk on the street without people recognising you. The response of viewers is tremendous.

Where do you go from here?
God will answer that. Right now I am having too much fun.

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