Umesh Chandra is the editor and publisher of the Brisbane Indian Times. He was previously a producer for Australian Indian Radio. Umesh has held many community leadership roles including being the founding president of Global Organisation of People of Indian Origin Qld chapter, People of Australia Ambassador, president of Queensland Multicultural Council, as well as being the multicultural advisor to the Mayor and Police Commissioner. Umesh Chandra together with his wife Usha Chandra was named Brisbane City Council’s Citizen of the Year 2019 during their Australia Day Awards. Connect with Umesh here.
How did you end up working in journalism?
I have always had a passion and fascination for journalism. It began when I started running a small video production business back in 1988. I completed my diploma in film and television production at the Academy of Photogenic Arts in Sydney and the rest was history.
How do you think the Brisbane Indian Times is different from mainstream publications?
Brisbane Indian Times has a strong community focus. It sheds light on the good and positive initiatives that are happening within pluralistic and multicultural communities that aren’t covered by the mainstream media. It features many grassroots functions of our multicultural community.
If there has been a big lesson in getting to the stage you’re at now as a journalist and publisher, what would that be?
Perseverance, persistence and tenacity as the publisher. As a journalist, the ability to maintain a neutral stance and not be influenced by circumstances and personal beliefs. Every story has many aspects and journalists will take different angles. We need to keep the relevance and essence of the story in mind whilst remaining relevant to our readers.
What is the most interesting story you’ve worked on in the past year?
The most interesting one would be the coverage we did of “Meera”, a stage production we sponsored. It was our front-page article in our November issue last year. It is an extraordinary story of achievement. It showcases the realisation of someone’s dream. We followed the story from the conceptualisation to production and it was truly an amazing story and journey.
How would you describe the ideal press release?
The ideal press release would be made up of 300 words with two photos covering the who, what, where and why aspects – no-one is interested in a long-winded story filled with boring and minute detail. Crisp and to the point is the way to go.