In the midst of all the noise and drama that passes for news on Indian media, Faye D'Souza has firmly established herself as one of the lone voices fighting to talk about things that matter.
Here are times we were simply grateful for Faye's brand of journalism:
1. When she decided to give up a successful career and start her own channel because ethics were more important to her than materialism.
When Faye D'Souza announced her decision to step down as the Executive Editor of Mirror Now, social media erupted in a wave of disappointment, with people even starting a petition asking for her return.
No matter where she is and wat she pursues in her future she was an epitome of journalism for me and will cont to be. She's given me perspectives to ponder and it wasn't just a mere dent, what she's given to journalism is nothing less than a wonder ❤️#FayeDsouza https://t.co/DVe0jd4YGt— sanchitalohot (@sanchitalohot) September 9, 2019
#FayeDsouza was the voice of ethical journalism, not caring for any ideology but issues of the people of India! Her leaving the Mirror Now channel is a tragedy!— Sundar Nair (@NairSundar) September 10, 2019
Dispassionate news has taken a Sabbath and there will be nothing to differentiate this channel from others!
But she stuck to her ideals, and nothing was more important than being true to herself, and her profession. She spoke about the same during Kommune's 2019 Spoken Fest event.
2. When she conducted an in-depth investigation into the struggles that doctors were facing, and continue to face while battling the Covid-19 pandemic.
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Gloves Hair cap Suit Hood Gloves 2 Goggles Shoe covers Face cover .... All tucked in, zipped up. There is a protocol to put it all on and take it off. You have to sanitise in between each step This was unlike anything else. Multiple layers of fabric and plastic, in the summer - No AC. I was in this for 40 minutes, the doctors and nurses do it for 6 hours at a stretch. They can’t eat or drink water or go to the loo in those six hours. It’s unbelievable
3. In fact, the entire series of investigative reporting that Faye and her team conducted were insightful pieces that actually brought to light information that people may not have been aware of before.
On the challenge of handling the Covid-19 spread in Dharavi, one of Asia's largest slums.
On Mumbai Police fighting the pandemic as frontline workers. (It took her 3 months to put together this story).
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A story that took over 3 months to put together, where we ride along in cop cars, speak to constables and their families on the price that the people in uniform have paid in the battle against COVID. Over 50 of Mumbai’s cops have died and the rest keep fighting. Here is their side of the story.
On the challenges of delivering babies in the midst of a pandemic, especially to COVID positive mothers.
A far cry from misinterpreting slangs and decoding WhatsApp chats.
4. When she started the 'Pass The Mic' series to actually amplify Dalit voices, by giving them a platform to voice their experiences and opinions, without interruptions.
5. In the wake of the Hathras horror, she was the only person to conduct a debate with an all-women Dalit panel, and actually hear their opinions on the on-going caste-atrocities and the way media covers caste violence in India.
6. Faye also conducted a debate on the importance and need of period leaves. And it was actually refreshing to see an all-women panel discussing women issues!
After Zomato introduced 10 days of 'period leaves', discussions on the topic took over social media. And through her debate, Faye offered a much-needed insight into the issue.
In the past, she has also spoken about the need to end taxation on sanitary napkins.
7. When she clearly stated that religion has no place in a crime as heinous as rape, because a rapist is a criminal in all religions.
After Asaram Bapu was found guilty of rape, a member of the Sanathan Sanstha tried defending his actions by bringing religion into the discussion, but Faye had the perfect response.
8. On a debate on trolling in social media, Maulana Yasoob Abbas's tried to rattle Faye by commenting that she should arrive to work in her underwear if she is looking for equality. She swiftly and smartly shut down his sexist remarks.
This was one of the first times that the world at large sat up and took notice of Faye D'Souza - the new voice of fearless journalism in India.
9. At the Spoken 2019 fest, organized by Kommune, Faye bravely called out that section of Indian society that decided to stay silent, rather than lend their voice to the right cause and protest, because they had 'too much to lose'.
10. When she conducted a Facebook Live session to call out both, the lack of women in the GST council and the excessive GST charged on glucose biscuits, which incidentally, are used by women as dry food for babies.
Mr. Finance Minister, I've said this in the past. You need to have a woman in the room when you're making these decisions. There are no women in the GST council. Any woman would have told you that the Parle-G biscuit, which is available at 8 for 2 rupees, is used by women across the nation as baby food... because they can't afford Cerelac.
11. When she, and her team, dedicated their first earnings from their new channel to help doctors.
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This is Dr Aparna Hegde, @hegdeaparna she is my hero. She has trained as a Uro- Gynaecologist in some of the most prestigious institutions in the world. She could have lived anywhere in the world and been a hot shot doctor. But, she chose to come back to India and serve the poorest along with running her practice. She has founded an NGO that gives care to pregnant women in rural and remote India. And she is an working as an honorary professor ( free) in CAMA hospital where she is setting up a new department. During covid she has helped set up the covid Ward that is delivering babies from covid positive women, many of whom come from the slums. Even though the govt has given them PPE there is still a short fall. My team and I used the first Rs 10,000 we earned from our new 8pm YouTube show to buy N95 masks for the team at CAMA .
12. When she called out politicians, across party lines, for using women as 'political foot mats'.
Scrolling through Twitter is emotionally exhausting. When will the girls of this country stop being used as political foot mats by people across party lines? https://t.co/HL0mTKEL9x— Faye DSouza (@fayedsouza) October 4, 2020
Though people have constantly, and in my personal opinion incorrectly, accused her of running a 'leftist propaganda', she's proved time after time that the only side she stands for is the side that is morally right.
13. When she had the perfect response for trolls on social media.
I get called "rice bag" a lot on social media.— Faye DSouza (@fayedsouza) October 2, 2020
Give me rice, I'll make biryani.
14. In the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown, education became available online. And she was one of the very few people to actually discuss the challenges that come with it and explore possible solutions for children.
15. When she discussed the Bangalore violence, stating how India was turning into a 'country that can't stand to be criticized'.
And amidst all this, Faye has regularly given us honest, factual news updates and glimpses of her adorable rescue Phoebe!
A sensible and informed approach to debates, the courage to not shy away from asking tough questions, and a much-needed sensitivity while reporting on matters of humanitarian crises, are qualities severely lacking in Indian newsrooms.
But, if 2020 taught us anything, it's to look for the silver lining. And in the world of Indian media, that means being thankful for Faye D'Souza.