Arnab Ranjan Goswami is an Indian right-wing news anchor and journalist. He is the managing director and editor-in-chief of Republic Media Network, a conservative news organisation oriented towards Hindu nationalism.
- Sidney Sussex College
Last Updated: November 4, 2023
Arnab Goswami: The Maverick News Anchor and Journalist
Arnab Ranjan Goswami, a name synonymous with the Indian media landscape, is an influential right-wing news anchor and journalist who has made an indelible mark in the field of journalism. Known for his dynamic on-screen presence and unwavering commitment to his profession, Arnab Goswami has carved a niche for himself as a bold and fearless voice in Indian journalism.
Early Life and Family Heritage
Arnab Goswami was born on March 7, 1973, in the picturesque city of Guwahati, Assam, India. Hailing from a family deeply rooted in Assamese culture, he is the son of Manoranjan Goswami and Suprabha Gain-Goswami. His father, Manoranjan Goswami, made a distinguished career in the Indian Army, serving for nearly three decades and retiring as a colonel. Upon retirement, he took a plunge into politics by joining the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), contesting in the 1998 Lok Sabha Polls for the Guwahati constituency. He was not only a politician but also a prolific writer, earning accolades such as the Asam Sahitya Sabha Award in 2017. Arnab’s mother, Suprabha Gain-Goswami, is an accomplished author.
The family lineage is illustrious, with Arnab’s paternal grandfather, Rajani Kanta Goswami, being a lawyer, and his maternal grandfather, Gaurisankar Bhattacharyya, an elected legislator from the Communist Party of India. Gaurisankar Bhattacharyya also held the position of the leader of the opposition in Assam for several years.
Arnab’s maternal uncle, Siddhartha Bhattacharya, is a member of the Assam Legislative Assembly, representing the BJP from the Gauhati East constituency. He played a significant role in heading the Assam unit of BJP until 2015.
In a fitting alignment with his family’s intellectual and political heritage, Arnab Goswami has emerged as a prominent figure in journalism, contributing to the nation’s discourse.
Educational Pursuits and Scholarly Achievements
Arnab’s educational journey was marked by academic excellence and intellectual curiosity. As the son of an army officer, he attended schools across various parts of India, gaining a diverse exposure to different cultures and regions. His scholastic journey led him to the prestigious Mount St Mary’s School in New Delhi, where he completed his 10th grade. He furthered his education at Kendriya Vidyalaya in Jabalpur Cantonment, completing his 12th grade.
Arnab Goswami holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Hindu College, Delhi University, marking the beginning of his academic prowess. His quest for knowledge took him to St. Antony’s College at Oxford University, where he pursued a Master’s degree in Social Anthropology in 1994. It’s worth noting that during his academic journey at Oxford, Arnab was a Felix Scholar, a testament to his exceptional academic abilities.
In the year 2000, Arnab Goswami was recognized as a Visiting DC Pavate Fellow at the International Studies Department at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge University, further enhancing his global exposure and intellectual acumen.
The Telegraph and NDTV: The Early Career
Arnab Goswami’s foray into the world of journalism began with The Telegraph in Kolkata. He quickly gained recognition as a journalist with a sharp intellect and a penchant for in-depth reporting. In less than a year, he made a pivotal move to the capital city, Delhi, where he joined NDTV. His tenure at NDTV, from 1996 to 2006, was marked by dedicated and diligent journalism.
At NDTV, Arnab was entrusted with the responsibility of anchoring daily newscasts, including ‘News Tonight,’ a program broadcast on DD Metro. His show ‘Newsnight,’ hosted by him, garnered widespread acclaim and earned him the prestigious Best News Anchor of Asia 2004 award at the Asian Television Awards. It was during this phase that Arnab’s knack for powerful and engaging journalism began to shine through.
Times Now: The Game-Changer
In 2006, Arnab Goswami made a career-defining move when he joined the newly launched Times Now news channel, assuming the role of Editor-in-Chief. This transition marked the beginning of a transformative phase in Indian television journalism.
Arnab’s show, ‘The Newshour,’ became a flagship program, airing live news coverage at 9 pm, featuring compelling debates on crucial topics. This show catapulted Arnab to immense popularity, and his dynamic and assertive style of anchoring captured the attention of a broad spectrum of viewers. His willingness to ask tough questions and demand accountability from public figures made ‘The Newshour’ a household name.
During his tenure at Times Now, Arnab Goswami also hosted a special program, ‘Frankly Speaking with Arnab,’ where he interviewed notable personalities such as Benazir Bhutto, former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai, the Dalai Lama, and former United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Arnab also had the honor of being the first television anchor to interview Prime Minister Narendra Modi after he assumed office in 2014.
The Launch of Republic TV
Arnab’s journey at Times Now, while marked by remarkable success, took an unexpected turn when he resigned as Editor-in-Chief on November 1, 2016. Citing editorial differences, a lack of journalistic freedom, and newsroom politics, his departure marked the end of an era.
However, Arnab’s unwavering commitment to journalism and his vision for a new media landscape led to the birth of Republic TV. The channel
was launched in May 2017 and quickly gained prominence as a free-to-air channel.
Arnab Goswami assumed the roles of Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief at Republic TV, ensuring that his unique brand of journalism continued to reach the masses. The channel garnered attention for its assertive reporting and willingness to tackle hard-hitting issues.
Arnab Goswami: The Visionary and Entrepreneur
Not content with simply being a prominent journalist and anchor, Arnab Goswami demonstrated his entrepreneurial spirit when he co-founded Republic TV. The channel was funded in part by Asianet, primarily financed by Rajeev Chandrasekhar, an independent member of the Rajya Sabha with close ties to the Bharatiya Janata Party. Goswami, along with his wife and notable educationists Ramdas Pai and Ramakanta Panda, invested in the venture through SARG Media Holding Private Ltd.
In May 2019, Arnab Goswami further solidified his ownership of Republic TV by purchasing a significant portion of shares previously held by Rajeev Chandrasekhar-promoted Asianet News Media & Entertainment. This move increased his ownership stake to over 82 percent in Republic TV, affirming his commitment to the channel’s vision and growth.
Resignation from Editors Guild: Taking a Stand
Arnab Goswami’s commitment to ethical journalism and his unwavering belief in journalistic integrity became evident during a live show in April 2020. In the aftermath of the 2020 Palghar mob lynching incident, he took a courageous step by resigning from the Editors Guild. His resignation was a result of his strong stance on the need for responsible journalism, particularly in the face of incidents that demand media attention. He raised questions about the guild’s role in upholding journalistic standards and ethics.
This principled stand, while subject to criticism and controversy, underscored Arnab’s unwavering commitment to journalism that is fearless, transparent, and true to its core values.
A Literary Endeavor
Beyond his extensive work in journalism, Arnab Goswami has also delved into the realm of literature. In 2002, he authored a book titled ‘Combating Terrorism: The Legal Challenge,’ reflecting his interest in and understanding of complex geopolitical issues.
Awards and Recognitions
Arnab Goswami’s contributions to journalism have not gone unnoticed. In 2008, he was honored with the prestigious Ramnath Goenka Award for Excellence in Journalism (TV), a testament to his impact on the field.
On December 8, 2019, Arnab Goswami assumed the role of President of the News Broadcasting Federation. This newly formed federation, comprising approximately 78 channels, aimed to bring together the voices of Indian news broadcasters and set new standards in the industry.
The Arnab Goswami Legacy
Arnab Goswami’s journey in the world of journalism is marked by courage, conviction, and an unwavering commitment to the truth. He has redefined the landscape of news reporting in India by presenting a brand of journalism that is forthright, unafraid, and unapologetically candid. His impactful interviews, robust debates, and investigative reporting have made him a household name and a powerful force in the media industry.
Arnab’s ability to ask tough questions, hold leaders accountable, and bring important issues to the forefront has earned him a dedicated following and, at times, even sparked controversy. His fearless approach to journalism has resonated with millions of viewers who seek unfiltered news and bold commentary.
In a media landscape characterized by evolving technologies and changing audience expectations, Arnab Goswami stands as a stalwart, reminding the world that journalism’s primary mission is to speak truth to power and serve as a watchdog for society. His legacy is a testament to the enduring power of the Fourth Estate in the face of challenges and changes.
In summary, Arnab Goswami’s journey from Guwahati, Assam, to becoming one of India’s most recognized and influential news anchors is a testament to his unwavering commitment to journalism and the values it upholds. His foray into the media world, extensive academic achievements, and unapologetic approach to journalism have made him a prominent figure in the industry.
As a journalist, anchor, and entrepreneur, Arnab Goswami’s impact extends far beyond the television screen. He has challenged norms, asked tough questions, and reshaped the way news is presented and consumed in India. His journey, marked by successes, controversies, and principled stands, serves as an inspiration to aspiring journalists and a testament to the enduring power of a free and responsible media. Arnab Goswami’s story continues to evolve, leaving an indelible mark on Indian journalism and society as a whole.