Journo Jobs

FT seeks a South Asia bureau chief

December 9, 2021

Posted by Chris Roush

The Financial Times is seeking to fill one of the most challenging, exhilarating and high-profile positions in its foreign network: the role of South Asia bureau chief. Based in Delhi, you will oversee coverage of the entire subcontinent, including India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

With 1.4bn people, but an average per capita income just a quarter of China’s, India is one of the world’s most closely-watched emerging markets. Its vast economic potential and geostrategic heft makes it a central player in reshaping the global order. But India still faces serious social, economic and geo-political challenges. It has struggled to generate jobs for its young population and move rural-dwellers out of agriculture. Though India revels in its designation as the world’s large democracy, press freedom, civil liberties, and the status of the Muslim minority have eroded under the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party government, led by charismatic strongman Narendra Modi.

The neighborhood is also turbulent. Afghanistan is suffering from a severe humanitarian crisis, following the US troop withdrawal and Taliban take-over. Pakistan’s cricketer turned prime minister Irman Khan is wrestling with political and economic challenges ahead of elections in 2023. Sri Lanka is at risk of a sovereign debt default, while Bangladesh is already feeling the destructive impact of climate change.

The successful candidate will run a three-person bureau in Delhi, covering the political, economic, diplomatic, regulatory, environmental and social side of India and South Asia. They will also oversee the operation of a bureau in Mumbai – which concentrates more on business and finance – as well as the work of contributors in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Motivating and supporting a close-knit team, amid often challenging circumstances, is a central part of the role.

At its heart, however, this is a job for a reporter. With all the scope the beat offers, you will write spot news on politics one day, and a magazine feature the next, picking topics carefully and cultivating sources so we can hit the big stories hard. Clear communication of priorities and upcoming stories to editors in Hong Kong and London is vital. You will represent the FT when needed, moderating events, and speaking in other public fora.

Your Skills

The core of the job is writing and reporting. You will be a skilled and experienced journalist, highly motivated and ready to lead coverage of dramatic, unpredictable breaking news developments at all hours.

At calmer times, you will be prepared to generate a constant stream of stories, and have the patience to cultivate sources in an increasingly challenging climate, where officials can be reluctant to engage with foreign media. You must be able to write for all parts of the website and newspaper, from strong spot news to deft analysis on a range of subjects.

As the leader of a small team, you will have the sensitivity to manage top-performing journalists on one hand, while supporting and developing the skills of the next generation. Your knowledge and judgement will instill our readers with confidence in the FT’s India coverage.

To apply, go here.

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