Non-fiction writing is a rigorous form of journalism, says Manu Joseph.

The Media Rumble’s third session, The Author as Journalist, featured Manu Joseph, Prayaag Akbar and Rahul Pandita. The panel moderated by Anubha Bhonsle discussed non-fiction writing as a rigorous form of journalism and the stories behind journalists turning into authors.

While Joseph is a journalist and author of The Illicit Happiness of Other People, Akbar has authored Leila and is Scroll’s former deputy editor, and Pandita, author of Our Moon has Blood Clots: A Memoir of a Lost Home in Kashmir, has reported extensively from conflict zones.

Speaking to the journalists-turned-authors on the panel, Bhonsle said there is a gap in mainstream journalism, a lack of space for a certain kind of reportage that leads to the making of a journalist as an author.

“I think of myself as a journalist first,” said Pandita. “I wanted to be a journalist because I wanted to write about these things that could not be contained in 600-word reports,” he said, referring to reporting from conflict zones.

“Journalism is understanding a small slice of life but there is so much that you see which can’t become part of a journalistic writing,” Akbar said, describing his reasons to author a book.

To hear more about the panel’s journey and reportage, watch the session below.