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Adhikari farewells The Australian for SMH & The Age

By Craig Daveson in Media News on
The Australian’s technology editor, Supratim Adhikari was announced as the new deputy business editor of Nine’s Sydney Morning Herald and The Age publications yesterday. 
 
Having started his work in business journalism at Business Spectator in 2007, Adhikari went on to become the deputy editor, and then editor of the technology spectator sub-site. 
 
Later, after the Business Spectator brand was bought out by News Limited in 2012, Adhikari joined The Australian alongside his Technology Spectator colleague David Swan, eventually becoming the technology editor in 2015, replacing acting technology editor Fran Foo. 
 
Since then he has managed The Australian’s tech coverage including its weekly tech section on Tuesdays, whilst also exploring broader business topics as well. 
 
“We’re thrilled he is joining the team. Supratim is an outstanding journalist with a proven track record. He will be a valuable addition to The Age newsroom and our national business coverage,” said Sydney Morning Herald and The Age national business editor John McDuling. 
 
Speaking to Influencing, Adhikari said that he would finish out the earnings season at The Australian, before joining Nine in late March. 
 
Though he wasn’t actively seeking to leave The Australian at the time, Adhikari said taking the deputy business editor role represented an opportunity to make a positive change not only in his professional work, but also in his overall lifestyle. 
 
“It’s not about being unhappy. Working for The Australian newspaper, especially running the tech section is still a very prized role in this country, so I’ve been very fortunate to have had that opportunity,” said Adhikari. 
 
“It wasn’t like I was feeling overwhelmed or couldn’t do it anymore. In fact, I could probably do this job for another ten years because we’ve got a great arrangement in how we work and the team is really excellent. So it wasn’t really anything like that, but because I really wanted to make some dramatic changes to how I live and find something different and change my life.”
 
As for the change to a slightly less tech-oriented position, Adhikari explained that the topic will still be at the forefront of much of his work, simply because of how much technology has become entrenched in business itself and the reporting that goes with it. 
 
“At The Australian obviously I’ve been doing a few other things, other than just tech. I’ve written a lot about a number of issues. I’ve been covering telecoms as well for some time now. So it’s a little bit different for me in that sense, but not as if I’m delving into a completely unknown realm.
 
“I started off at Business Spectator which was ‘full-business’ and that was my training, my groundwork, and in some ways I’ve never let go of that.
 
“I’ve always read the full paper, and I think what’s really lucky is the timing of it. Compared to when I started writing about technology, where we are now it permeates the business world, and in a broader sense, it’s actually changing our culture, creating new anxieties and new opportunities. So in that sense, I don’t really see it as a dramatic sort of a change.
 
“Business process transformation is already underway, and it’s only going to accelerate. So we’re going to see a lot of these issues around AI and algorithms and how they’re used internally. 
 
“I suspect that what’s really interesting is that between now, 2020, and the next couple of years, we’re going to start to see these technologies manifest themselves at a consumer level.” 
 
For an example, Adhikari pointed to an exclusive story in The Australian this week by Jared Lynch and Nick Evans investigating Rio Tinto’s use of AI, big data and dynamic discounting to “bleed ‘desperate’ suppliers.”
 
“To me, that’s a perfect case of a corporate entity clearly using the latest technology, and ongoing improvements in technology, to run its operations, and that has a direct impact on suppliers and families. To me, that’s what’s really interesting.” 
 
As for his time at The Australian, Adhikari said that he is thankful for being given the opportunity to speak to interesting people who truly enjoy the work they are doing. 
 
“There’s so many of them that I can’t even remember them all, but I really enjoyed writing stories like that where you saw a good engineer team just focused on delivering something. You know, really great people who have to do it, and they can do it.”
 
Adhikari was also grateful for the help of his colleagues who helped to pivot The Australian’s technology section while keeping it contemporary and competitive. 

Follow Supratim on Twitter at @SupratimA

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