Senior journalist Seema Chishti will be joining The Wire as Editor starting Monday, January 2, the founding editors of The Wire – Siddharth Varadarajan, M.K. Venu and Sidharth Bhatia – said in an announcement today.
“Seema brings a wealth of experience and expertise in journalism — in all forms — to our organisation,” they said in a note to colleagues, “and we are confident that she will make not just a valuable contribution to The Wire’s reporting and coverage but help the organisation grow to the next level at a time when the news media in India are going through challenging times.”
As Editor, she will be in charge of The Wire’s English, Hindi and Urdu editions and be accountable to the Editorial Board, comprising the three Founding Editors, whose primary role will remain setting the broad editorial direction and policy of The Wire, expanding its reach and ensuring its financial sustainability.
Chishti comes to The Wire after decades of experience as a reporter, author, researcher, educator, broadcaster and editor. She has reported and written extensively on virtually all the major issues of the past three decades, beginning with the 1990 reforms and the demolition of the Babri Masjid, which she covered for Hindustan Times Television, a video magazine that predated the advent of news television channels in India.
Most recently, she has been working as an independent writer, publishing in both the national and international media. She is also one of the founders of The India Cable newsletter. Before that, she had been associated with The Indian Express for 14 years in various capacities, including Resident Editor, in Delhi, before leaving the newspaper as Deputy Editor in 2020.
At the BBC, where she worked for several years before joining The Indian Express, Chishti served as Editor, Hindi and Head of Delhi Bureau, BBC World Service. She was also a producer and then anchor of a daily Hindi primetime news bulletin, working first out of London and then New Delhi between 1994 and 1998.
Chishti is the author of two books – Sumitra and Anees: Tales and Recipes From a Khichdi Family (2022), in which she describes her parents’ interfaith marriage through the recipes that were cooked most often in their kitchen, and Note By Note (2018) co-authored with Ankur Bhardwaj and Sushant Singh, tracing the history of independent India through Hindi film songs.
Chishti was trained as an economist, with a master’s degree from Jawaharlal Nehru University and a bachelor’s from St Stephen’s College, Delhi University.