Charles Assisi ON The Allure of the Newsroom, Media Evolution, & Public Discourse

Charles Assisi Headshot


In this episode we learn about Charles Assisi’s journey, a seasoned journalist whose career began quite unexpectedly. Once aspiring to enter medical school, Charles’s fascination with the dynamic world of journalism led him down a different path. In this conversation, he shares candid insights into the non-linear trajectory of his career, the adrenaline of the newsroom, and his observations on how media has evolved with the digital age.

Charles Assisi ON The Allure of the Newsroom, Media Evolution, & Public Discourse

About the guest-

Charles Assisi is a co-founder of Founding Fuel, a media and learning platform, and co-author of “The Aadhaar Effect: Why The World’s Largest Identity Project Matters.” He is also a columnist for the Hindustan Times and has been published by other leading newspapers, including peer-reviewed journals such as the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and Shaastra, which is an initiative of IIT Madras.

With nearly three decades in the business, Charles now focuses at the intersection of business, technology, and public policy. He brings a wealth of experience to his speaking engagements and moderates discussions with thought leaders at public forums. Additionally, Charles teaches writing and collaborates with a diverse range of individuals, from senior leaders in the C-Suite of large organisations to undergraduates at St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai, and post-graduate students at Xavier’s Institute of Communication.

In his previous roles, Charles served as Managing Editor for the Indian editions of Forbes and Editor at ForbesLife. Before these positions, he was the National Technology Editor and National Business Editor at the Times of India.

His career in media began in his early twenties when he was appointed Editor by the German media house Vogel Burda for their India debut with CHIP, a popular technology magazine, where he was responsible for setting up their operations in India. This role allowed him to work across Vogel Burda’s many newsrooms in Europe and Asia, and it brought him several accolades, including the Madhu Valluri Award for Excellence in Journalism and the Polestar Award for Excellence in Business Journalism.

Shownotes -

00:01:35 – Allure of the newsroom, challenges of journalism, & the rare highs of bylines and recognition

00:08:50 – Advice for content creators on maintaining journalistic integrity

00:13:25 – Decline in media scrutiny & the current state of editorial standards

00:19:00 – How podcasters & YouTubers shape public discourse on complex topics

00:27:40 – Expressing opinions in healthier ways

00:32:20 – Aiming for growth and virality while maintaining integrity

00:35:31 – Is Charles a free speech absolutist?

00:47:45 – Favourite authors and thinkers

00:52:00 – The one man Charles wants to interview

Book, authors, & thinkers to explore

John Steinbeck – Notable works include The Grapes of Wrath and East of Eden

The History of Medicine by Roy Porter

The Lessons of History by Will and Ariel Durant 

Fallen Leaves by Will Durant

Gabriel García Márquez – Famous for ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’

Salman Rushdie – Known for Midnight’s Children and The Satanic Verses

Arundhati Roy – Author of The God of Small Things

Kiran Nagarkar – Known for Ravan and Eddie

Atul Gawande – Author of several books on medicine and ethics, such as Being Mortal

Linus Torvalds
K. V. Kamath
Nandan Nilekani
Dr. B.R. Ambedkar

Resources + Guest Info

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