Editor of The Hindu for a three-year period between 2016 and 2019, Mukund Padmanabhan is the Mentor of The Lede, an honorary position in an advisory capacity. He joined The Hindu in 1997 and was the editor of the group’s business daily BusinessLine between 2013 and 2016. An M-Phil in Philosophy, Mukund Padmanabhan began his career with a brief stint as a Lecturer in Philosophy before shifting to journalism. He worked for the magazine Sunday and the Indian Express before moving to The Hindu. As Editor of The Hindu, he introduced a number of innovations in the content and design of the newspaper. He will guide The Lede team through newer challenges and in walking the line on credible, accurate, ground reported journalism from south India.
Sandhya is an award winning journalist and Editor of The Lede. Sandhya has been a television news reporter and producer for 10 years, working with national news platforms such as CNN News18, Times Now, CNBC-TV18 and others. She has also been part of the core launch team for news channels ET Now and Puthiya Thalaimurai (Tamil). Sandhya decided to freelance in 2014 and founded The Lede in 2016 as a consortium of independent journalists from across the five south Indian states. She has a number of groundbreaking stories to her credit including her extensive work on the illegal beach sand mining expose in Tamil Nadu, which won her the Ramnath Goenka Award for Excellence in Journalism in 2019, as well as the expose of flawed arithmetic in Jayalalithaa’s acquittal in the Bengaluru High Court in a corruption case. She covers politics, social inequality, human rights, development and policy reportage. Sandhya has also authored a biography of late DMK chief M Karunanidhi published in 2018 by HarperCollins.
Prem is a journalist with over 20 years of experience. From starting off as a district reporter in Kanyakumari for The New Indian Express in 1997 to signing off as a Deputy Editor of Network 18 group, Prem has encountered journalism in its extremities without once losing the own sense of balance in the trade. From breaking big stories like the Shankaracharya arrest case to covering the worst disasters, like the 2004 tsunami, Prem is a seasoned journalist who will be hands on in editorial and operations with Team Lede.
Imran sits in Bengaluru at 3000 feet above sea level and has a bird’s eye view over Southern India. He is one of the earliest entrants into news television after a solid grounding in print journalism. He has been a Bureau Chief as well as Editor (South) with major news networks such as Aaj Tak and Headlines Today. And to complete the circle of convergence he has added radio to his experience of four decades in the media, covering the five southern states for BBC Hindi.
Lesley Esteves is a journalist of over 20 years of experience. Beginning on the desk at Business India in Mumbai in the late 1990s, she later worked as the editor of Outlook Traveller Getaways in Delhi, an award-winning series of travel guide books. She worked on election campaigns for two political parties in Bihar and Bengal for assembly elections in 2015 and 2016, before joining National Herald in Delhi in late 2016 for two stints as Digital Editor. She is now a part time cook and part time editor and writer exclusively for truly independent and gutsy digital media outlets like The Lede.
GSR is a veteran journalist with 43 years of experience covering the whole of south India from Hyderabad. He has covered every crucial happening in south India starting with the hanging of Billa and Ranga. GSR has worked with a number of publications including The Hindustan Times, Malayala Manorama, The Week and Telegraph.
Naveen Nair is a journalist with fifteen years of editorial experience as a reporter. Naveen started his career with The New Indian Express in Chennai in 2003 following which he joined CNN News 18 in 2005 as a founder employee reporting from the state of Kerala and Southern Tamil Nadu. He remained Bureau Head for CNN News 18 in Kerala for eight years after which he joined the India Today. Since 2015 he has been freelancing and writing from Kerala and other parts of south India. He lives with his family in Thiruvananthapuram.
Anand is based in Chennai and carries with him the weight of 7 years of experience in Tamil television news. His nose for news is impeccable and he has explored and expanded his contact base from the ground up in the state. His reportage on Ockhi cyclone rescue operations and a deep dive into the background to the transport strike that paralysed Chennai for a week has won him accolades. Anand’s passion is to report on the environment and defence, apart from human interest stories.
Raveena Joseph is a features writer with a keen interest in art and culture, development, social equality and social justice issues. She studied Mass Media in St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai and spent a year in Madrid, Spain as an exchange student. She worked with The Hindu’s Metroplus as a lifestyle journalist for over two years before delving into independent journalism.
Based in London, Aditya writes about Indo-British relations in the wake of Brexit, immigration and cultural issues, and about the shared history between the two countries. He was earlier the Tamil Nadu reporter for The Hindustan Times.
Joseph is based in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu and has experience of over 10 years in both print and television media. He has worked with a number of national news channels such as Times Now as their reporter in Coimbatore and is currently with The Lede, covering the western and southern parts of the state. Joseph’s strengths are accurate on-ground reportage and the ability to nose out those stories at the village and grassroots level which the mainstream media usually ignores. Joseph had provided minute by minute accounts of the verdict in the Tirupur court on the honour killing case of Dalit youth Shankar in 2016, in which the court handed out an unprecedented 6 death sentences.
Based in Hyderabad, Manasa is a young and upcoming journalist who excels in putting out multimedia reports for online. She shoots interviews and videos herself and is a go-getter who is also resourceful and works to deadlines. Her stories on a strange fish in the Krishna river that was a result of river interlinking caused much flutter amongst environmentalists in Andhra Pradesh and the government who have begun to study the ecological damages of river interlinking.
The publisher of The Lede is Sandhya Ravishankar