State what you know and what you don’t know in the news story: Mihir Dalal on June 12, 2023

Mihir Dalal, ace business journalist, advised budding journalists to not assume details while writing the first update of a news story.

“While most news organizations would include information which may not be confirmed, it’s important that you state what you know and also state what you don’t know,” said Dalal in a session with ACJ-Bloomberg 2023-24 students.

Dalal, who has previously worked with Mint, started his session by explaining the basic concepts of the complicated Indian startup system. He spoke about the key factors that drive startups, such as funding, business models, and the role of investors.

Dalal went on to talk about the methods and considerations for effective coverage of startups. He stressed the importance of conducting thorough research and background checks on startups and their founders. This includes investigating previous ventures and financial stability.

He also highlighted the red flags that reporters must be mindful of when covering Indian startups.

“There are many red flags that you can look for when covering startups. The obvious one is a startup with a fantastic story and a genius founder. Another red flag is when a startup is constantly shifting narratives and have set an ambitious target,” he said.

He also shared tips on how to identify potential fraudulent practices, misleading claims about revenue or user base, and unethical behaviour of key management.