Yesterday news broke of controversial journalist Barkha Dutt resigning from NDTV after spending 21 years there. According to the official statement from NDTV, she had requested that she would like to explore some new opportunities, pursue other interests and work on her own ventures. One might wonder as to does she dream of mirroring Arnab Goswami, who too quit recently in order to start his own Republic.
The NDTV statement also showered praise on Barkha Dutt, by calling her hugely productive, who has grown with the organisation, becoming an acclaimed, award-winning ‘journalist’ of repute across India and many parts of the world.
So just as the news broke, Social Media was set aflame with speculations and possibly rumours.
We wrote last week about Hindustan Times shutting down some of its city editions and its business bureau, thereby speculating about the possible financial crisis which might be hitting Indian media especially print in the near future. Many linked this possible crisis chiefly due to ebbing revenues and readership:
I don’t think #BarkhaDutt ‘s exit is linked to this,but- 5 NDTV Bureaus shut. Kerala,Jammu,Bhopal,Jaipur,Gujarat.CDG to be shut after elex
— Ashwini (@gossipdatabase) January 15, 2017
38 out of 78 cameramen reportedly shown door in NDTV. Closing down?!
— mohan das (@mohandastg) January 15, 2017
So assuming these are true, 5 NDTV bureaus have been shut and more would after the elections. Plus 38 cameramen were shown the door as part of their possible cost-cutting. Also it has long been reported that the NDTV’s financial health is anything but stable. As reported in this Hoot article from March 2016, NDTV’s TV business was already in a crisis with business slowdown resulting in 5 years of continued losses.
The situation hasn’t improved after its loss in the 1st quarter of 2017 widened to 38 crores as compared to 24 crores in the same quarter last year.
So was Barkha’s exit more out of compulsion than choice? Unconfirmed reports speculate that she was paid as much as Rs 3.6 crores per year, an amount NDTV probably can do without in view of their losses.
Apart from this conspiracy theory, many people made light of her resignation from NDTV.
Are there openings?
Barkha Dutt quits NDTV. Hope she join journalism
— Ra_Bies (@Ra_Bies) January 15, 2017
Hmm, that gives a lot of time to line up investors:
Arnab launching #Republic on 26Jan
Barkha Dutt: “Even I’m a true patriot, will launch my new venture on the 14th of August!”#BarkhaQuits
— डॉ. परीमल त्रिपाठी (@GhasPhoosDoctor) January 15, 2017
It might not happen after this transpired.
Barkha Dutt Joining Republic
— Arvind Kejriwal (@TrollKejri) January 15, 2017
So whether it was due to financial reasons or if she wishes to start a new venture or even if she decides to become a teacher in a poor headmaster’s school, we at OpIndia wish her all the best for future.