The India Today Group has decided to double down on its ‘sting’ that turned out to be a massive farce. Furthermore, one of their journalists was revealed to have held a hush-hush conversation with the Vice President of the JNU Students’ Union off the record. She also discussed the matter of servers on the campus with the Leftist student leader, an issue on which she has spread fake news. All of this, however, doesn’t seem to bother India Today too much and they have continued to stand by the dubious conduct of its reporters.
India Today, in its efforts to defend the indefensible, asked its readers to not pay any attention to the criticism of news network’s ‘pathbreaking investigation’. Well, this is not the first time that the news network has engaged in some ‘pathbreaking investigation’. As we understand, it is unlikely they will answer the pertinent questions we raised in our reports. Therefore, in this report, we look at some ‘pathbreaking’ bits of journalism that India Today has done in the past.
India Today’s Fact-Check team published an extensive fact-check of a meme revolving around Chris Gayle. It became a meme on the internet that Yogi Adityanath had changed the cricketer’s name to Krishna Goyal. Not too long after, it was memed that Chris Gayle aka Krishna Goyal had joined the BJP. It was all an elaborate joke and everyone knew that. However, India Today took it upon themselves to prove comprehensively that Chris Gayle was, in fact, not Krishna Goyal and he had not joined the BJP. That is indeed some ‘pathbreaking fact-check’.
India Today’s ‘Anti Fake-News War Room’ went to war against a watermarked meme that joked about former US President Barack Obama watching Narendra Modi’s oath taking ceremony following his reelection as Prime Minister. The meme had a watermark, therefore, it should have been sufficient indication that it was a joke for everyone to have laugh about but when you have a ‘war room’, you have to go to war against something even if it’s a meme.
In a report by India Today, it has been claimed that the BS Yediyurappa led government has decided not to implement the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Karnataka. The report further stated that the BJP government intended to create a database of immigrants who have been living in Karnataka instead of implementing NRC.
However, in reality, the Karnataka Chief Minister reiterated that the state government welcomes the Citizenship Amendment Act and asserted that NRC will be implemented in the state. Any decision of the centre including NRC is our decision as well, Yediyurappa had reiterated after a thumping win in the by-elections.
As India Today realised that they had reported false news regarding the NRC implementation in Karnataka, the media group promptly deleted the report without even apologising for their error.
TheLallantop.com, Hindi news and opinion website owned by the India Today group, which asserts to be a fake-news buster, recently fact-checked a 9-month-old satirical article and passed off the claim as ‘authentic’. The sarcastic article was first posted on Fauxy website, a satire site, in September 2018 wherein the author took a humorous dig at the abundance of food bloggers that seek free meals from restaurants in return for rave reviews.
The satirical piece was widely shared by people, creating ripples on the internet, and forcing many news media outlets like india.com, Firstpost to cover it without verifying its authenticity or paying heed to the sarcastic nature of the website, the Fauxy. The Lallantop posted a Fact-checking analysis of the hilarious article on May 15 on its website to declare the incident had indeed happened in New Delhi.
In line with their duty to fact-check, the Lallantop called the Fauxy a foreign website that covered the arrest of a food blogger in Delhi on their website. It fallaciously declared the arrest of the food blogger ‘authentic’ by citing the Hindustan Times report that clearly stated the news as fake. It later expressed regret for its incompetence.
Rahul Kanwal, one of the main protagonists in the latest scandal to hit India Today, shared fake news on the 26th of December 2018 that claimed his channel, India Today, was going to run an episode that exposed the “ugly reality of India”. He claimed that their report showed that Dalits are not allowed in several of the biggest temples in India, including Gorakhnath Temple in Gorakhpur, whose head priest is Yogi Adityanath, the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh.
In the end, it turned out to be a massive hit job against the Warrior Priest of Gorakhnath to portray him and the Nath Sampradaya in poor light. Numerous people from the Dalit community came forward to assert that they are always welcome at the Temple and caste has never been an issue at the Temple.