News & Opinion

The editors: Amol Rajan

Amol Rajan, editor of The Independent, on newspapers and influence for Newsworks' first annual review, 'The story of newsbrands in 2014 and beyond'.

Born in Calcutta and raised in South London, Amol Rajan became editor of The Independent in June 2013 at the age of 29. After leaving Cambridge with a degree in English, he worked for Channel 5 as a 'mic boy' and secondary presenter on the morning programme The Wright Stuff.

He joined The Independent in 2007 as a news reporter, before becoming editor of Independent Voices, the newsbrand's digital and print comment platform.

A cricket nut, he is the author of Twirlymen: the Unlikely History of Cricket's Greatest Spin Bowlers, described by one reviewer as "written with wit and an obsessive's eye for detail".

Syrian refugees

What made you proud in 2014?

We were the first Western paper to see the threat from Isis, because our veteran correspondent Patrick Cockburn is simply the best Western journalist on matters relating to Iraq. So this wasn't what you'd call an old-fashioned scoop; rather it has been a running story, which we got to before most papers, and which we, through Patrick, have been ahead of the pack on.

Which story made the most impact?

We put the refusal of the British government to let more Syrian refugees in at the request of the UN on our front page. Ed Miliband referred to The Independent in PMQs, naming us specifically. Soon after, the government relented, and did the right thing.

Your favourite headline of 2014?

"A sheep in Woolf’s clothing?" – on the farce of Fiona Woolf being appointed to head the inquiry into child abuse. "How do you solve a problem like Crimea?" was also strong.

Who's influenced your career?

Matthew Wright

My parents, obviously. In the world of work Matthew Wright, the best journalist I've ever worked with, was outstanding. And the heroic Roger Alton has had a greater influence on me than he would be comfortable with my admitting.

The three qualities of a good journalist?

Scepticism, curiosity, bravery.

The best book/film for an aspiring journalist?

The Sportswriter by Richard Ford is wonderful, and captures the agony and ecstasy of what it takes to be a writer. All the President's Men is inspirational, and portrays the best moment in modern newspaper journalism, at least.

 If you'd like a copy of Newsworks' 2014 annual review let us know

Read more editor interviews: 

Paul Dacre, editor-in-chief, dmg media 
David Dinsmore, editor, The Sun
Lloyd Embley, group editor-in-chief, Trinity Mirror
Alan Rusbridger, editor-in-chief, Guardian News & Media
Sarah Sands, editor, London Evening Standard
Jason Seiken, chief content officer and editor-in-chief, Telegraph Media Group
John Witherow, editor, The Times

29/01/15

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