The Monday Media Diet with Jai Dattani
On podcasts, Western Australia, and Saint Hoax
I first met Jai Dattani (JD) at PHT via fellow MMD alum Elizabeth Selby. He currently works for Canva following a long and interesting run at Netflix. Happy to have him on the page with us today. -Colin (CJN)
Tell us about yourself.
Raised in a pretty homogenous North London suburb, media quickly became my portal to a world beyond my own. Whilst friends spent their cash on collectable football stickers, I bought every type of magazine. And I mean every type… from the trashy women’s weeklies to the glossy GQs and Vogues. This was paired with hours spent watching TV, much to the dismay of my parents who believed time away from the textbooks would rot my mind. Little did they know I’d go on to forge a career playing with words, pictures and videos.
Following University, I hopped into the world of TV production before the glittering lights of Entertainment PR lured me over. I flitted between Brand and Personal PR for a while before making a spur-of-the-moment decision to relocate to Sydney, following in the footsteps of two close friends who moved out a year prior - a path that would lead me to Ogilvy PR to work on the launch of Netflix in Australia in New Zealand. My time in Sydney drew to a close with the opportunity to move in-house with Netflix to lead Consumer PR for Northern Europe, the Middle East & Africa based in Amsterdam. My first year with them saw me take 121 flights - a magical blur propagating the gospel of Netflix to press and influencers across the region. Paid to talk about TV - a dream!
After two and a half years in Amsterdam, I relocated again with Netlfix to Mumbai to lead the social team for India. It was a phenomenal experience bringing together Hollywood and Bollywood and my love for digital storytelling. After two years and a brief stint sheltering from COVID in the idyllic wine region of Margaret River, Western Australia, I found myself in Los Angeles (still with Netflix) in a broader editorial content role, which I left in the Summer of 2022.
Today I’m a few months into a new role, leading Global Social for Canva, a digital design platform on a mission to empower the world to design with ease.
Describe your media diet.
I wish it was more diverse. I keep abreast of UK, US and Australian news through the usual BBC, CNN, NYT, SMH apps. Social plays a huge role in keeping me across pop culture. Saint Hoax blends informative news with hilarious memes, always bringing me joy. I follow a lot of stylists and make-up artists across Hollywood and Bollywood to keep on top of style and creative trends. And, of course, aspirational architecture and travel accounts keep me longing for a lottery win.
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What’s the last great book you read?
Lessons In Chemistry had me gripped. I accidentally ordered the large font edition, which meant I was flying through the pages at a comical pace. I am unashamed to admit I audio-booked Prince Harry’s Spare the week it came out. Whilst I won’t share all my thoughts here, I do not underestimate the toll that the vitriolic, racist, divisive tabloid media culture played on his and Meghan’s mental health.
What are you reading now?
Starting a new job, I’m reading hundreds of documents and decks to get up to speed, so my leisure reading has taken a hit. Evenings are spent watching TV with my partner. Kaleidoscope (Netflix) and Fleishman is in Trouble (Hulu) have had me hooked of late. The latter is a masterclass in script writing and storytelling.
What’s your reading strategy when you pick up a print copy of your favorite publication?
*cracks fingers* Okay, my strategy has remained unchanged for two decades.
Pass 1: The Cream Skim - A once-through, reading the stuff that grabs my attention immediately or the cover story that compelled me to buy the publication. Also, an opportunity to earmark the stuff to go back to later.
Pass 2: The Leisure Read - Taking some time to devour some of the longer reads and stuff I earmarked before and also discovering some new stuff along the way.
Pass 3: The If-I-Must - usually when there’s nothing else around to read, I’ll do a final flick and force myself to skim anything left to pick off the bones.
Who should everyone be reading that they’re not?
Sorry if this breaks the format, but I’m going to share my current favourite podcasts.
Who Weekly - the podcast that tells you everything you need to know about the celebrities you don’t.
Ask Iliza Anything - comedian Iliza Schlesinger gives her take on listener questions. I feel that my vocabulary gets significantly better by listening to her.
How to Fail - author and journalist Elizabeth Day asks influential people to share their three biggest failures and what they learned through them.
Oh, and I love the Dirt newsletter for all things Entertainment - I think I actually discovered it on a MMD a few months back (Thanks!).
What is the best non-famous app you love on your phone?
Hopper is quickly becoming my go to app for personal travel - it often has the best rates. The Pattern is a great motivation app that blends astrology and personality without too much of the woo-woo stuff.
Plane or train?
The romantic in me wants to say trains. As I type this I picture myself in a window seat veering through the Austrian hills in Spring. The reality is planes. Even though a large portion of my travel is work-related, a plane ride always leads to discovering a new place or meeting new people. I’m even willing to endure LAX for that…
What is one place everyone should visit?
Margaret River in Western Australia. A gorgeous wine region three hours south of Perth that boasts some of the most phenomenal beaches. Combined with award-winning wines and picturesque vineyards - what’s not to love?
Tell us the story of a rabbit hole you fell deep into.
Most recently, I’m embroiled in a personal debate about whether Paris Hilton becoming NBC’s ambassador for their 2024 Paris Olympics coverage is genius or ludicrous? The only connection is the word “Paris”... I’d love to hear what your readers think, hit me up on LinkedIn and share your thoughts. (JD)
Thanks for reading,
Noah (NRB) & Colin (CJN) & Jai (JD)
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