IPS – Inter Press Service News Agency
IPS Asia-Pacific journalist network

Below are the profiles of some of the journalists and correspondents working with IPS Asia-Pacific.

PRAFUL BIDWAI, Correspondent

Praful Bidwai, one of India’s best known writers and columnists, has had a long association with IPS. His articles are regularly published in India’s mass-circulation Hindustan Times and in the prestigious ‘Frontline’ weekly. Bidwai is best known for his critical pieces on nuclear proliferation, an area he specialises in. He has a number of books to his credit including the well-received ‘New Nukes – India, Pakistan and Global Nuclear Disarmament’. He is a fellow of the Transnational Institute (TNI), the Amsterdam-based international think-tank for progressive politics.


Marwaan Macan-Markar has been the Asia correspondent for IPS since August 2001. He is currently based in Bangkok. The stories he has covered include the 2004 tsunami, the insurgency in southern Thailand, Cambodia’s recovery from conflict, Vietnam’s battle with bird flu, the plight of Burma’s migrant workers, the rise of political Islam in Southeast Asia and the impact of development along the Mekong River.

Prior to his current posting in Southeast Asia, he was based in Mexico City as a correspondent at the World Desk of IPS. He comes from Sri Lanka, where he covered that country’s ethnic conflict and wrote extensively on human rights violations for local English-language newspapers. In all, his journalism career spans over 15 years. He has undergraduate degrees in political science and journalism and a master’s degree in the humanities from Hofstra University, New York.

Email: marwaan[at]

BEENA SARWAR, Correspondent

Beena Sarwar was IPS correspondent in Lahore from 1992 to 1999 when she left to join Goldsmiths College, University of London, to do a master’s course in TV journalism. She was a producer with Geo Television News, Pakistan’s first 24-hour news channel, from May 2002-Nov 2004. After a stint as editor for OpEd and Features with the prestigious ‘The News’ (Jang Group of Newspapers), Karachi, she returned to IPS this year.

Sarwar is a founding editor of ‘The News on Sunday’, a weekly newsmagazine launched in 1994 which comes out of Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad. She has been a Research Fellow of Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, USA, Sept 2006-June 2007; Nieman Fellow, Sept 2005-June 2006; British Chevening Fellow, Goldsmiths College, University of London, UK, Sept 2000-Sept 2001. She holds a M.A. (Distinction) on Television Documentary, Goldsmiths College, University of London, Sept 2001; a B.A. double major Studio Art and English Literature, Brown University, Providence, USA, May 1986, and ‘A’ Levels, (Art, Literature, History): Karachi Grammar School, Karachi, 1981.

Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, Correspondent

Paranjoy Guha Thakurta obtained his Master’s degree in economics from the Delhi School of Economics (1975-77). He started his career as a journalist in June 1977 and has since worked in various media organisations including IPS.

Between 1995 and 2001, he anchored a daily programme called “India Talks” on the CNBC television channel — nearly 1,400 half-hour episodes of the programme have been broadcast. He currently anchors regular programmes for Lok Sabha Television and Doordarshan, India’s public broadcaster.  He is non-executive Director of the School of Convergence (SoC), an educational institution that has for the first time in India combined the curricula of a journalism school, a film school and a management school. He is a regular contributor to various publications, websites, radio stations and television channels in three languages: English, Bangla and Hindi. His main areas of interest are the working of India’s polity, its economy and its media. He has been associated with projects of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and has taught at various educational institutions including the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, the Film & Television Institute of India, Pune, the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie, the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, Jawaharlal Nehru University and Jamia Millia Islamia (all in New Delhi). He is a consultant with the Press Institute of India, New Delhi. He is a media trainer and a consultant/adviser on India’s political economy. He is currently co-authoring a textbook on media ethics.

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