Subir Ghosh is a Bengaluru-based independent journalist and researcher who started out his career in sales before switching over to journalism in 1991. His first job as a journalist was with the eastern metropolitan desk of the Press Trust of India (PTI) in Kolkata. He joined the Telegraph daily in 1994 and was part of the first ‘region desk’ that was set up in the newspaper to bring out dedicated pages and supplements for the states of Bihar, Odisha and the Northeast. It was here that he developed a keen interest in Northeast affairs and started specialising in the region. He wrote and reported prolifically on the Northeast during his tenure in the daily.
He shifted to New Delhi in mid-1998 and joined the publications units of the leading non-governmental organisation on environmental issues, the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE). During his short stay here, he worked on the fifth edition of CSE’s flagship publication, the State of India’s Environment. He thereafter moved on to the apex body of the hospitality industry, the Federation of Hotels and Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI), and served as assistant secretary-general in charge of publications. He turned around the staid black-and-white newsletter into a four-colour glossy which broke even within a year. Here, he also brought out a number of research studies on the state of the hospitality industry in India. His next assignment was with leading wildlife organisation, the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI), where he was in charge of communications: handling publications, the website of the WTI and media relations. He was to have a second stint here again in 2009–2010.
In the interregnum, Subir experimented with the online media and launched two e-zines: the Reviewer (one that reviewed books) and Northeast Vigil (one that aggregated news and information pertaining to the Northeast). In 2005, he started a website called Newswatch which collated news about the media industry, press freedom issues and journalistic ethics. The mainstay of the site were micro research studies about how various incidents and issues would be covered in the Indian media. All these studies were appreciated worldwide for their detailed analyses: each story that was selected for a study was assessed, at times, based on more than 100 parameters. He still specialises in Northeast affairs, and has served in the past as an advisory council member with the Centre for Northeast Studies (C-NES).
Subir is the author of Frontier Travails—Northeast: The Politics of a Mess, published by Macmillan India in 2001, and has won two national awards for children’s fiction (including one titled The Dream Machine, co-authored with Richa Bansal, which was awarded a prize for children’s science fiction by the Children’s Book Trust). In 2014, he co-authored Gas Wars: Crony Capitalism and the Ambanis with Paranjoy Guha Thakurta and Jyotirmoy Chaudhuri. The book is regarded as a seminal work on the subject of crony capitalism.
Subir’s latest non-fiction work is Sue the Messenger: How legal harassment by corporates is shackling reportage and undermining democracy in India, published in May 2016. Subir is the lead author of the book, and Editor of the Economic & Political Weekly, Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, its co-author. The book dealt with corporate strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPPs) against writers and journalists in India. His collection of poems, On the Face of it: Chronicle of a Self-Imposed Exile was published in February 2017.
His last stint in the mainstream media was with the Bengaluru edition of DNA newspaper. At present, Subir is a full-time writer and also Contributing Editor with Fibre2Fashion magazine, where he writes mostly about sustainable fashion and policy issues related to the textiles and apparel industry.
Subir is passionate in writing about conflict, wildlife, human rights, sustainable fashion, poverty, and cinema. He blogs at www.write2kill.in, tweets at @write2kill, and keeps writing occasionally for a number of newspapers and portals. Besides, he works as a political and environmental risk analyst and editorial consultant with both corporates and voluntary organisations.