Emirates

'Are you sure you work for Gulf News?'

'Are you sure you work for Gulf News?'

Dubai: Very early in my career, I realised two important things about working for Gulf News.

A couple of years after I joined the company, a relative told me that he had been a regular contributor to the newspaper.

“Have you been noticing my name in the paper?” he asked.

When I said “no”, he said he had been writing letters to the editor and had also been putting ads in the classifieds section. I was not in the habit of reading all the letters to the editor and glanced through the classifieds section only when I wanted to sell something.

On seeing my quizzical look, he asked: “Are you sure you work for Gulf News?”

That was when I realised that working for Gulf News meant not only keeping abreast of what is happening around the world, but also about what goes into the paper – in every section – including Classifieds.

I have had the privilege of seeing the best of times of the print edition, taking baby steps online and now being a market leader in the digital storytelling field.

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The other thing I noticed was that every time I met friends outside office, the conversation would veer around to events taking place across the world. And then I, as a journalist, would be asked to give my opinion. I was expected to have an opinion about every topic under the sun. That was difficult. I have always preferred keeping my opinions to myself, except when I have strong views about a subject. However, to my friends, being a journalist in Gulf News meant that I had inside information about news events and that I had to express my opinion.

I have had the privilege of seeing the best of times of the print edition, taking baby steps online and now being a market leader in the digital storytelling field. When I joined Gulf News more than two decades ago, it was a predominantly print enterprise. With late deadlines and news trickling in slowly, we could pace ourselves.

Since then, it’s been a quantum jump for every one of us working at Gulf News. From thinking about how people read the newspaper to giving the audience the latest in breaking news and updates as they take place, has meant that we too keep changing and learning about how news functions.

Through it all, the experience of working with some of the best journalists in the field has been a learning exercise every day. Through the stress of daily deadlines and the joy of seeing one’s byline, the years have gone by fast.

Working with a brand that is instantly recognisable has brought me immense joy and satisfaction over the years. At 42, there's much to look forward to for Gulf News.