Manisha has spent the past 5 years working in media in various capacities: from investigative journalism and advocacy, to film-making and media research. She currently works as an investigative journalist for BBC Newsnight.
She began her career in journalism as Junior Editorial intern at the Times of India in 2012, covering the Summer Olympics, and went on to co-found India’s first feminist counterculture webzine Eyezine in 2013 in the aftermath of the notorious Delhi rape case. The website quickly garnered over 100,000 readers in less than a year.
She has worked as freelance reporter for CNN International, Guardian Technology, The Telegraph, Renegade Inc. [RT UK- Broadcast], The Wire, Kurdish Question, The New Internationalist, Raiot, Bright Lights Film Journal, BellingCat, and Guerrilla Feminism.
She was hired as digital media strategist for Real Media during Britain’s Snap Election, and due to her research interest in encrypted communications, has often advised journalists on information security.
She was a contributor to news reporting and programming at CNN International’s London Bureau, and also helped produce a show for CNN Amanpour; while working as an investigative journalist at Belling Cat, using digital tools to track war crime in conflict areas in the Middle East.
In 2018, she was appointed guest lecturer at the University of Westminster Masters course in media.
Manisha currently works as a freelance investigative reporter, is one of the seven Fellows at London’s innovative tech-hub, Newspeak House, where she is Director of the Future of Journalism network.
Born in Calcutta, India, Manisha studied English Literature, Film and Ancient History at St. Xavier’s College. While still studying, she started Eyezine, a crowdfunded news publication run entirely by sexual violence survivors, which reported on dissent, human rights abuses, and counterculture amidst death threats and sedition charges from the far-right.
She moved to London in 2016 to pursue a Masters in Multimedia Journalism at the University of Westminster upon being awarded the Vice Chancellor’s Scholarship, the university’s most prestigious award reserved for one outstanding applicant each year.
While at Westminster, she was political reporter and breaking news editor for Westminster World, and editor of the university’s experimental digital storytelling lab, helping to ideate and create 21 seconds which earned the project an invitation to Sky News Lab. Manisha was also a consultant for Al-Jazeera Media Labs. She was awarded the Westminster Distinctiveness Award.
While working at the investigative desk at the Telegraph, she specialised in undercover reporting, digital forensics and social engineering.
Her Master’s project, Hacking Digital Britain, looked at vulnerabilities and solutions in Britain’s digital infrastructure, and involved a large-scale investigation into surveillance practices by elite London universities. The investigation was nominated by the university for the BJTC 2017 Award for ‘Best Original Journalism’.
In 2016, she visited camps in Paris and Amsterdam to document the condition of refugees and asylum seekers rendered destitute by the European bureaucratic process. The photo-essay was part of an exhibition titled ‘Human Refugees’ in London, which was endorsed by UNHRC.
Manisha has interviewed the likes of Selma James, Zadie Smith, Joe Corre, Clive Lewis MP, Nicholas de Poncier and Nobel Peace Prize nominee Parveena Ahangar. Her feature on Kobane, Syria, for Real Media has been translated into Spanish and Greek.
She has worked extensively in art curation, theatre, publishing, and film production, ideating Hysteria FemCon in 2015, one of the first feminist conventions in India. The promo video she co-created for it got featured in 50 Best Films About Women on Films for Action.
As campaigner for gender rights, she has spoken at the Feminist Art Conference, OCAD, Toronto in 2015; Oxford Bookstore on women’s rights and Indian education in 2015; at the CEC launch at University of Westminster in 2017 (alongside Alex Boden, producer of Netflix series Sense8); and has been featured in interviews by the Times of India, Guerrilla Feminism and Asian Age.
She has chaired events at Amnesty International on press freedom with Stephen Dunbar Johnson, President International of the New York Times Company, as well as spoken on panels by Hollaback on countering sexual harassment post #Metoo.
At Newspeak House, she works as a community organiser for journalists through the Future of Journalism network, with organisations such as Reporters Without Borders, Committee to Protect Journalists, Forbidden Stories, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, and others.
She is a native speaker of 3 languages and has previously worked in animal rescue and first aid while volunteering with paravets in Calcutta.
You can Follow her work on Twitter @manisha_bot.