A bundle of indefatigable energy, Barkha Dutt has been covering major news breaks from the spot ever since the advent of 24-hour news channels. This winner of many accolades including the Chameli Devi award for the best woman journalist, is famous for her coverage of the Kargil war of 1999. Barkha was inspired by her mother Prabha Dutt who died young and was one of Delhi's first women reporters; when denied permission to cover the Indo-Pak war of 1965, she took leave and went to the battle lines at her own expense!
Barkha holds a masters from the Mass Communications Research Centre at Jamia Millia Islamia and another masters in journalism from Columbia University. She was named among the Global Leaders of Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum two years ago.
Yet her greatest achievement remains the immediate recognition she evokes every time she appears on screen, whether as reporter or anchor of the highly rated We The People and Reality Bites on NDTV 24X7. The channel needs to use Barkha Dutt, its biggest STAR and strongest television presence, better. At present, she’s trying to be both anchor and reporter — with disastrous consequences. Barkha is one of Indian TV’s best reporters, a charismatic free spirit. They should free her from the studio and let her do her own thing.
Young Barkha has earned four journalism awards and the Inlaks Scholarship (1997), which sends six Indians abroad annually for graduate work. Numerous are the positive reviews that her reports have been given in Indian print media. Recently, bubbly Bollywood actress Preity Zinta donned the Barkha Dutt look with cropped hair and no make-up except for kajal as she played Romila Dutta, a war reporter, in Lakshya. All this would be enough to turn any head, young or old. But not Barkha’s for she is a young professional woman with a sensible head on her shoulders.