On October 29, INMA and Google News Initiative (GNI) awarded 50 news media professionals around the world with its debut Elevate Scholarship. This series features these impressive media professionals who are shaping our industry.
In the 11 years since he joined the staff of the Deccan Herald in Bangalore, Muthi-ur-Rahman Siddiqui has moved through several positions, using each one to further his knowledge and skill sets. Originally studying science and language, he was bitten by the journalism bug and pivoted his education, earning a diploma in mass communication and media studies — and then immediately putting it to work.
In his three years as a reporter, Siddiqui covered topics from crime to education, breaking several news stories, including the high-profile details of the leak of pre-university exam questions. That story led to the state government changing its security measures.
After moving to the editing desk, Siddiqui has further diversified his skills, and today he is responsible for the DH Deciphers column, which runs three days a week and breaks down issues for readers. He also shoulders the responsibility of editing, rewriting, proofing, and tracking news stories for the Bengaluru and Karnataka pages of the newspaper.
“Working as an editor has not stopped me from my first love in journalism: reporting,” he said, noting that he still writes some of the stories for the news and special sections of the newspaper and maintains a strong interest in investigative reporting.
“Chasing stories and doing journalism of relevance is what keeps me awake at night and fires up my mornings,” Siddiqui said. “There’s no greater adrenaline rush than the prospect of busting fake news in this post-truth world.”
Another way he wants to use his skills and passion is to report on topics that are underreported, misreported, or simply ignored by mainstream media. One of the areas where he is determined to make a difference is in the bias that India’s mainstream media has toward the Muslim community — of which he is a part.
“Stereotyping and vilifying the community have become par for the course for large sections of the electronic media and some sections of the print media,” he said. “Sometimes, Muslim issues are stereotyped or misreported because of genuine ignorance about the community. Bringing diversity to the newsroom and making it more inclusive is the only way we can cover all sections of society fairly, which is the basic tenet of journalism.”