Rajdeep asks “Who do we trust?” Not the Media Rajdeep, not the Media!

Senior Journalist Rajdeep Sardesai raised an important question on Twitter yesterday. He questioned the credibility of India’s Netas & Investigative agencies and left us with a question to which most had no answer. But Kiran Bedi asked him to look inwards and Rajdeep grudgingly accepted that he and the media are also not trustworthy any more.

But surprisingly, come morning, Rajdeep’s tune had changed. It is possible he was rebuked by someone from his fraternity, for letting down his profession. Hence now, Rajdeep had put on his aggressive face and decided to target someone by calling him “superman”:

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Political jibes arising from pent up frustrations aside, we believe Rajdeep hit the nail on its head in his first reply, which was probably an honest admission. 3 events in the spate of 15 days, have completely demolished whatever little credibility media had, yet we don’t see many people talk about it Especially not Rajdeep. Why? Because how can you expect the media to comment on themselves? This incestuous group of media persons from different media houses can never spill the beans on one another. Atleast not the mainstream ones.

Lets start with the latest story, where an AAP member, recorded a conversation with a journalist, to expose Yogendra Yadav. While on the face of it this is an ordinary intra party fight, we highlighted here how there serious breaches of journalistic ethics. A journalist calmly revealed her source to an interested party. This same source whose confidentiality was important earlier, later this secrecy was made irrelevant. Worst of all, the journalist’s claims were questioned by another reporter who was privy to the same news. All this prompted 2 editors of major publications to openly accept on Twitter that this episode was a “serious breach” and a “dangerous precedent”. But of course no other main stream media picked this story up.

Just a few days before the above, we had the “Essar Leaks”which made claims of how journalists could be influenced and be used to plant stories. The impact of this report was substantial and caused resignations of Sandeep Bamzai, Editor of Mail Today, Anupama Airy, Energy Editor of Hindustan Times and Times Now’s Deputy News editor Meetu Jain. The allegations ranged from petty free car rides to free accommodation to sponsoring of media events. Soon more beans began to spill and Airy alleged that “a senior editor had no qualms in accepting expensive gifts from corporates”. Meetu Jain took to twitter to refute allegations and made some damning remarks on “investigative journalists” and “activists”.

And it all began with the “Corporate Espionage” crackdown, where Shantanu Saikia, a journalist, was caught as an accused for stealing documents from the Government and leaking them to corporate houses. “Accessing” documents from the Government, for news reports, was something which most knew about, but stealing sensitive information and selling it off to corporates was a new low. As expected, many of Saikia’s journalist friends descended to put forth various theories to exonerate him of any wrongdoing. Outlook magazine asked whether the entire crackdown was a fake expose orchestrated by Modi while Scroll.in went into technicalities as to who should be conducting such a crackdown. The core issue of journalistic impropriety was buried.

And these are all major lapses from the Media, not the “small scale” media lies which we at OpIndia.com keep reporting month after month. Can we continue to trust the media blindly? Can we rely on it to objectively analyse and report flaws in its own fraternity? Can we expect the same zeal and vigour journalists show when they report on wrong-doings of politicians? Can we expect Rajdeep Sardesai, to stand-up to such elements in the Media? Media needs to be held accountable for all these lapses. But as of now, there is no force big enough to take on the Media.

co-founder, OpIndia.com

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