1. When Basu first applied to Concordia’s graduate diploma program in journalism, he was rejected, but his persistence paid off.
After graduating in 2000, he got an internship at The Montreal Gazette, followed by a job at the Canadian Press.
“Whenever my paid work was done, I would sit down and burn the midnight oil, writing a whole other story on my own blog, the Daily Hab-it,” says Basu. “My blog was an organic, living, breathing resume for any potential employer to see what I could do. It became a thing that people looked forward to reading and the comment section became vibrant.”
In 2010 his dedication paid off, landing him a correspondent job with NHL.com, the National Hockey League’s official website. After his first season with the NHL, he was asked to head their French-language site, and became senior managing editor at LNH.com.
2. Basu took a risk to pursue a lifelong dream.
“In my last year covering the Stanley Cup finals, I got an unexpected call from James Mirtle, the national editor of The Athletic,” says Basu. “He asked me if I wanted to launch The Athletic in Montreal. But I had no reason to leave the NHL. I had a great job,” says Basu.
Basu joined The Athletic in 2017 and says he aims to expand the Montreal office, to even better serve the city and province. “It was my first real opportunity to cover the Canadiens as a beat writer. It was a chance to dig into some of the day-to-day happenings of the team and write analytical stories that really appealed to me,” said Basu.
3. He hopes to pay it forward
“I will never forget how hard it was to get a job in the industry. Once we have enough resources to hire more people, I hope we can provide a place where young journalists can write,” says Basu.
4. His love for sports journalism was cultivated by reading the Montreal Gazette’s Red Fisher and Michael Farber.
“I remember how their stories were engaging and powerful. That is something I try to remember when I write today,” says Basu.
“She was a pioneer in her field and had a huge influence on my life and career. She was the first female sports reporter at the Chicago Tribune, covering athletes like Michael Jordan and teams like the Chicago Bulls,” says Basu. “To me it was unfathomable, that this remarkable woman was teaching me how to do this job. My only regret is never telling her.”
Listen to Arpon Basu in conversation with Jonah Keri on this Thinking Out Loud podcast.