Friday, November 27, 2020
Home News Reports Indian Express and India Today owners rubbish claims of Modi govt asking owners to...

Indian Express and India Today owners rubbish claims of Modi govt asking owners to fire journalists

Speaking at a media event in Delhi earlier this week, Anant Goenka, Executive Director, Indian Express and Aroon Poorie, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief, India Today Group, rejected the conspiracy theories that the NDA government is pressuring the media houses and arm-twisting them into following a narrative.

When commenting on the recent exit of journalists from a media house, where a journalist had reportedly indulged in peddling fake news to build a narrative, Goenka said that if at a ‘phone call’ (from the government to arm-twist the management) would have come through, it would have happened in case of either of the governments. He said that it is up to the proprietor (Ananda Bazar Patrika group based in Kolkata) how they tackle such a ‘phone call’. Purie, too, agreed with Goenka and said, ‘It is the proprietor’s phone call, it is up to him.’ Goenka then asked Purie if it is possible that the proprietor might be of the belief that the story should not have been done? To that, Purie shrugged and he has been reading all sort of stories, so he does not know.

When asked whether they have been asked to let go of journalists from their team because of their supposedly anti-government stories, Purie and Goenka both replied in negative. Purie said that this government lets you (proprietors) know that they are unhappy, unlike the previous governments, who ‘would do sneaky things and otherwise try and make life difficult for you’. But this government (Modi-led NDA government) ‘says okay, you’ve done this story, you haven’t done this and that, but it is up to you to decide how much you want to yield or not yield.

Speaking of cutting off of access to journalists, Purie narrates how on one of their events during the UPA, they had invited Salman Rushdie, when he was banned to come to Jaipur Lit Fest, back in 2012, a whole lot of UPA ministers pulled out of the event and even the President of India, who had already accepted the invite, had pulled out of the event. Without naming the media house, Purie said that the UPA ministers had pulled out of another media event as well.

Purie recalled the time when former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was upset with India Today for having covered the Nellie Massacre in Assam in 1983 when an event showcasing her was taking place around that time. According to Purie, she was embarrassed by the coverage of the massacre. When an India Today reporter asked her a question in a press conference in Kolkata, she came down heavily on him and called the reporter ‘anti-national’ and ‘traitor’.

When Purie was asked which government has been the most controlling in trying to get into the narrative, he dismissed it by saying it depends on how much one lets the government get into the narrative. He said that the current government is the one which watches them closely and reacts to things which they find are wrong and the publisher needs to be able to defend themselves. Beyond that, Purie said, they (all governments) are the same.

Agreeing to what Purie said, Goenka said, ‘I feel there is a lot of talk about how intolerant this government is or how thin-skinned they can be to the press… but it is not new, it has always happened. We have had our editors in jail. It has also got to do with the strength of the government.’ The current NDA government in power is the first party with the majority number in power in recent years.

Towards the end, Puri reiterated that the pressure from government is as much as one lets the government pressurize them. He said that pressure on media is not so much from the government as it is from the social media which sometimes leads to demonstrations and protests outside the offices. He said that what worries him the most is that in the newsroom, which is ‘greenhouse journalism’ where people are planting stories on the journalists by the sources who would never stand up for them. He urged the journalists’ fraternity to have enough checks and filters to check these plants which are usually based on partial information.

This is not the first time journalists have poked holes in the conspiracy theory that Modi government is clamping down on the media. Earlier in March, Supriya Prasad, the Managing Editor of the Aaj Tak and India Today news channels, too, had said that he never faced any kind of pressure from the government regarding news broadcasts or running ‘favourable news’. Amusingly, many ‘celebrity’ journalists, like NDTV’s Ravish Kumar and India Today group’s very own Rajdeep Sardesai, while trying to raise the bogey of ‘undeclared emergency’ or while commenting on CBI raids against NDTV promoters, have tried to insinuate that the Narendra Modi government was trying to muzzle voices in media by putting pressure.

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

Related Articles

Trending now

Minor gang-raped, forced conversion to Islam, threats, caste abuse: Details of 11 cases in which UP SIT, formed to probe Love Jihad, found criminality

To curb growing menace of Love Jihad, Kanpur police under guidance of the Yogi govt in Uttar Pradesh formed an SIT

Congress party’s Lucknow office locked by employees over non-payment of salaries, office-bearers blocked from entering the office

Protesting against the Congress party for unpaid salaries, the upset staffers and the employees locked up the gates of the Congress office

Aziz Burney’s ’26/11 RSS ki Saazish’: Read how the Congress-favourite Urdu journalist gave Pakistan a clean chit and blamed Indian Army

Through his articles, Burney had tried to give a clean chit to terror-state of Pakistan by claiming that it was not the ISI or LeT that was behind the attack, but the RSS with covert support from Mossad and the CIA.

Caravan Magazine asked us about our coverage on Wikipedia and its Left bias – Here is our detailed response

OpIndia coverage of Wikipedia lies started after Delhi Riots and Caravan Magazine, with its strong Left bias, is clearly not happy about it

‘Sant’ Rampal’s devotees have been flooding social media to tell Muslims how they don’t know Islam. Read bizarre details

Born in 1951 as Rampal Singh Jatin in Punjab, the 69-year-old self-styled godman is currently lodged in Hisar central jail for murder charges.

Odisha: Largest ever vigilance raid in state unearths massive wealth gathered by IFS officer, fancy cars, ultra-luxurious lifestyle

Pathak's family reportedly owns a lavish apartment in Bhubaneswar with Italian marble flooring, ivory furnitures and other luxuries. The son is engaged to an MLA's daughter.

Recently Popular

Odisha: Largest ever vigilance raid in state unearths massive wealth gathered by IFS officer, fancy cars, ultra-luxurious lifestyle

Pathak's family reportedly owns a lavish apartment in Bhubaneswar with Italian marble flooring, ivory furnitures and other luxuries. The son is engaged to an MLA's daughter.

Hyderabad elections: Owaisi makes ‘beef biriyani’ sly on BJP leaders, Raja Singh offers him pork biriyani

As an insult to BJP leaders, Owaisi had stated that they should have some biriyani at a particular hotel in Hyderabad that is famous for beef dishes.

Remembering the role Barkha Dutt played in endangering the lives of 100s of civilians during the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack

A look back at how live coverage by journalists like Barkha Dutt and other journalists endangered lives of thousands of people during 26/11 Mumbai terror attack.

During 26/11 Mumbai attack, Param Bir Singh refused to be on ground and take on terrorists, then Mumbai CP Hasan Gafoor had said

Hasan Gafoor, who was the Mumbai Commissioner of Police during the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, had accused senior police officials, including Param Bir Singh of not taking on the terrorists.

When Sonia Gandhi trusted Ahmed Patel for conveying to PV Narasimha Rao’s family that his funeral will not be held in Delhi

Sanjaya Baru had said Ahmed Patel approached him to let PV Narasimha Rao's son know about Sonia Gandhi's message.

Aziz Burney’s ’26/11 RSS ki Saazish’: Read how the Congress-favourite Urdu journalist gave Pakistan a clean chit and blamed Indian Army

Through his articles, Burney had tried to give a clean chit to terror-state of Pakistan by claiming that it was not the ISI or LeT that was behind the attack, but the RSS with covert support from Mossad and the CIA.
- Advertisement -

Karan Johar apologises to Madhur Bhandarkar for tweaking his title without permission, Bhandarkar calls Johar’s act morally and ethically wrong

Madhur Bhandarkar had accused Karan Johar of tweaking his registered title 'Bollywood wives' for an upcoming web series on Netflix

District court in UP sentences one Sadab Alam to 20-years imprisonment for kidnapping and raping a minor girl

The minor victim was recovered by the police from West Bengal. She had told before the court that she was raped by Sadab Alam.

“Wikipedia has become a huge moral hazard”: Co-founder Larry Sanger accuses the website of turning into a ‘monocultural establishment organ of propaganda’

Larry Sanger accuses Wikipedia of no longer adhering to the principle of providing information from a neutral point of view

Uttar Pradesh ranks number one in providing jobs to migrant workers by generating 10 crore person-days under Gareeb Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyan

Uttar Pradesh government has spent 9,329.57 Crores on the project and generated 10,58,17,358 Person-days for migrant workers

‘Professor’ Ashok Swain, known for his anti-India rhetoric and Hinduphobia, deactivates his Twitter account saying he needed a break

Ashok Swain was often seen peddling anti-India narrative on social media that resonated well with Pakistan and liberals in India

Months after staying at the RIMS director’s bungalow, scam convicted RJD chief Lalu Yadav shifted back to RIMS ward

The newly appointed RIMS Director had to stay in a guest house because Lalu Yadav had been staying in his official bungalow since August

Congress leaders and supporters use old photographs to attack Modi government on farmer protests

The pictures used by Youth Congress and then mechanically copied by rest of the Congress coteries are actually from the year 2018

Pakistani man gets AK-47 rifle as wedding gift from his mother-in-law, video goes viral

In the viral video, the mother-in-law of the groom is seen gifting him a Kalashnikov rifle as the crowd cheered.

Minor gang-raped, forced conversion to Islam, threats, caste abuse: Details of 11 cases in which UP SIT, formed to probe Love Jihad, found criminality

To curb growing menace of Love Jihad, Kanpur police under guidance of the Yogi govt in Uttar Pradesh formed an SIT

Partying in 2008, ignoring now: Rahul Gandhi’s silence on the 26/11 Mumbai attacks continues

Like last year, Rahul Gandhi has completely ignored the 26/11 Mumbai attacks and has not shared any tweet about it.

Connect with us

245,563FansLike
489,280FollowersFollow
20,200SubscribersSubscribe