Journalist and author Manu Joseph has resigned as the Editor of the Open magazine.
Joseph, 39, announced the resignation on his Facebook page. However, he did not give any reasons for his resignation.
"I have quit Open. Will continue as interim editor until a new editor is appointed or the end of March, whichever is sooner," he said in a Facebook post. "Third novel, come to me fast."
Joseph's resignation has come only weeks after Open's political editor, Hartosh Singh Bal, quit the publication. Bal had stated that while he had enjoyed editorial freedom, issues between him and the owner of the magazine, Sanjiv Goenka, had been a persistent cause of dispute.
"Mr Goenka had a range of reasons for why he felt that way – from competence issues to promotion of personal grouses to writing style and the general quality of political coverage in the magazine. I completely disagreed with Mr Goenka and he let me prevail. Over the past few months the pressure on me increased I do not know why, and I had to make a decision. One option I had was to relent and rebuild my relationship with the owner so that I can push through an ambitious online plan for the magazine. Quitting was the easier option, which I had done thrice already in the past three years," he had said.
In an interview with The Hoot, Manu Joseph had conformed that Open's owner Goenka had issues with Bal. "The fact is that Sanjiv Goenka conveyed to me many times, over the last three years, his discomfort with Hartosh, which I absorbed and deflected as editors are supposed to do. I had given Hartosh a broad sense of this, but I did not convey any specific warnings. Hartosh was never told by me that he should stay away from a line of comment or a story. I let him have complete freedom," Joseph said.
Twitter has been quick to interpret Joseph's resignation as another sign of a clash between editorial freedom and corporate management.
— Aparna Jain (@aparna_jain) January 6, 2014
Can't say I'm entirely surprised that Manu Joseph has departed from The Open. Was he paid to walk silently? Either way, more PR journalism — Adithya (@adadithya) January 6, 2014
Culling of editors? How do we know Manu Joseph was forced to leave? We do not have his reasons yet. Or do we? — Ranjita Ganesan (@ranjitag) January 6, 2014
— AndrewBuncombe (@AndrewBuncombe) January 6, 2014
Siddharath Varadarajan, Hartosh Bal, Tarun Tejpal and now Manu Joseph. Secular liberal stalwarts in the media sent home
— Sathya Anand (@AgentSaffron) January 6, 2014
Joseph was born in Kottayam, Kerala and grew up in Chennai. He is a graduate of Loyola College, Chennai and dropped out of Madras Christian College to become a staff writer at Society magazine. He has been the features editor of The Times of India and has written for The Independent and Wired. In 2007, he was a Chevening Scholar. He currently lives in Delhi.
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