‘Neutral’ journalist Supriya Shrinate, Executive Editor of ET Now, on Friday joined Congress party after the party leadership announced her candidacy for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections from Maharajaganj, Uttar Pradesh. Supriya Shrinate replaced Tanushree Tripathi, whose name was initially announced as the candidate from Maharajganj.
Interestingly, Supriya Shrinate, who joined Congress party was working as an Editor at ET Now till this week raising questions about the ‘neutrality’ and integrity of journalists. Recently, Supriya Shrinate had carried out an interview with former RBI chief Raghuram Rajan and had also endorsed Rahul Gandhi’s NYAY programme on her show.
#MEGAEXCLUSIVE | Agricultural distress and poverty are the two main sources of distress on the economy. We need to find a way to alleviate them together, says Raghuram Rajan to @SupriyaShrinate pic.twitter.com/5rTlXAw8G1
— ET NOW (@ETNOWlive) March 27, 2019
It is not unsurprising today to acknowledge that there are several journalists in the country who are sympathetic to the cause of the Gandhi Parivar but somehow pretend to be ‘neutral’ in the public. Supriya Shrinate’s transition from being a ‘neutral’ journalist to a Congress candidate may not have happened in few days and certainly, not after her recent news shows and interviews endorsing Congress President Rahul Gandhi.
Supriya Shrinate must have taken a sufficient time to lobby for her ticket or at least to comprehend the ideologies of any political party before being made a candidate for Lok Sabha elections. If at all Supriya Shrinate was lobbying for a ticket or contemplating on joining the Congress party from a long time, does that not amount to a conflict of interest or a clear case of bias in terms of her conduct as a journalist?
The integrity of Supriya Shrinate as a journalist is clearly questionable as her plans to join Congress may not be instinctive but carefully planned from a long time with utilising her privilege of being a ‘neutral’ journalist. It also raises questions not only on the credibility of the debates she carried out till recently and but also on the authenticity of the interview she did with Raghuram Rajan to endorse Rahul Gandhi’s policies.
Meanwhile, it is also intriguing to know whether ET Now was aware of the fact that Supriya Shrinate had inclinations towards the Congress party. If at all ET Now knew about her Congress links, why did the media organisation not disclose it in the public or at least try to keep her away from doing the Congress propaganda from ET Now studios under the garb of journalism?
Neutrality in the field of journalism is a facade. While every journalist is entitled to have their own political views, their bias often creeps into their profession, while the entire time, they pretend to be politically neutral. The likes of Supriya Shrinate lobbying for a Congress ticket despite being part of a media organisation is yet another low in Indian journalism and casts a shadow on the uprightness of the so-called independent ‘Lutyens’ journalists of the country.