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Spirit W | Digital is where the new 'news' is going to be: BBC News' Shaili Chopra

Shaili Chopra, an Indian business journalist with nearly twelve years of experience in television anchoring, reporting and writing columns is recently excited to work on BBC World News’ Horizons, wherein Chopra will discover how the Akshaya Patra Foundation uses the latest cooking technology in India to provide hot meals for more than 1.4 million school children every day and in Part Two she will travel to California to meet entrepreneur Josh Tetrick who is known for experimenting with vegetable based substitutes for eggs. He has found plants that can be used to make mayonnaise, provide the aeration to make cakes rise, and even be scrambled.

With over a decade of experience in his ante, Chopra has worked with leading channels and mainline news organizations like Tehelka where she was the Business Editor. Until September 2012, Shaili was the Senior Editor and Lead Female Anchor at ET Now, the Economic Times Business News Channel. Having anchored the primetime shows and interviewed the likes of Warren Buffett, George Soros, Anshu Jain, P Chidambaram, Christine Lagarde and many others, Chopra has always stood high.

She is also a columnist for DNA where she writes a popular golf column Tee off with Shaili Chopra. And what can be better than when you get appreciated and awarded for your hard-work. Chopra was awarded the prestigious Ramnath Goenka Award for Excellence in Business Journalism at the Indian Express RNG Awards 2012. She has won many awards including News Television Award for the Best English Reporter across India in 2007 and later in 2008, her business-golf show Business on Course, won the Best Show Award and recently in March 2010, Chopra won the Best Business Anchor award and was felicitated with FICCI's Woman Achiever Award.

To know more about her experience working on Horizons and a little flashback about her journey in the media and news industry, Adgully caught with the dynamic lady, Shaili Chopra, Presenter, BBC World News.

Sharing her experience on Horizons, Chopra said, “Working on Horizons has been absolutely fantastic for many reasons. It's a great series and I was particularly interested in the pieces I did as they were on an intersection of social impact and business. It's a series that makes technology useful for people, and when technology dons a human touch it makes for captivating reportage.”
“I think the team that came down from London was spectacular. I love small crews and this was a team of two people who knew all aspects of their shoot. Our conversations and notes on the diversity of our filming were enriching,” she added.

Technology is one of the ever changing and evolving elements in India and around the world. Being a close observer, Chopra believes that technology is the future, in every simple and complex way. Adding further, she said, “Our lives will be driven by how we embrace technology and so innovations are at the heart of what humanity plans to do with itself. Just exploring Silver 9 as part of the series was such a great experience. Using silver technology to cut down hygiene challenges with something as a simple as a silver-wash on clothes, suggests how simple combinations of things around us can produce such ideas.”

“Who would have thought a silver brushed pair of jeans could prevent odor and let you use them for much longer without washing. And the same technology could be used to help with hospital linen. Isn't that fascinating given the world is obsessed with issues around future availability of water for use,” she stated.

As mentioned above, Chopra is one of well-known Indian business journalist with nearly twelve years of experience in television anchoring, reporting and writing columns, defining her journey so far, she said, “I'd say it's been breakthrough. I have been at the crest of the television revolution in India and tremendously benefited from the medium.”

Anchoring, reporting and hosting big events like WEF in Davos at a time when India was an emerging country has been a most enriching experience for her. Getting to meet people like Warren Buffett and having conversations about values over wealth, conversations with CEOs about what drives them beyond profits, balancing reportage over policy and business have cultivated her well-rounded sense of the world.

Being an award winner of the prestigious Ramnath Goenka Award for Excellence in Business Journalism at the Indian Express RNG Awards 2012 among other awards, speaking about the thoughts and strategies she thinks made her reach the position that she is in, Chopra said, “I think just hard work and fair reporting. I have been a devotee of the basic tenets of journalism: tell both sides of the story and that's always held me in good stead. I have a keen sense of detail and remain committed to doing stories in a new way.”

A strong believer of the fact that one should never stop learning hence she loves watching Amanpour, Nik Gowing, loves the way Nisha Pillai anchor, Lyse Doucet handling sensitive reporting and which has taught her a lot of things. Chopra said, “I look in the mirror every day and see a confident presenter, but I also remind myself of how much more I need to do and how much better I can be. That is my driving force. That shows in my work and that gets me accolades.”

Though she always wanted to be in television news space but the fire in her belly and the excitement of newsrooms and the sublime sense of the camera inclined her more towards the same. Chopra feels, “Television in the last decade has been a lot about reporting live events, big news breaks and the rise of India. These combined, made for great visual reporting, plenty of travel for marquee events and a fair bit of research. Television brought it all together in a simple and impactful way. I wanted to be a part of this wave and so television was the perfect medium for me. I am also a very confident television anchor with great presence and I do my homework before going on air.”

As like all the veterans, Chopra also advices the young entrants to prefer digital, and feels that is where the new 'news' is going to be. “Having said that, no matter what your medium, having a voracious appetite to learn along with confidence and self-belief should keep any journalist in good stead,” she said, while signing off . By Aanchal kohli | Twitter: @aanchalkohli

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