The credibility of India Today, which was already dithering at awfully low levels, suffered yet another critical blow and was left in tatters when its remarkably shoddy reportage on the JNU violence was exposed. In a series of reports, OpIndia has thoroughly rebutted the claims India Today made in its ‘sting’ and revealed what a remarkable piece of garbage it was.
Now, OpIndia has accessed a video of an India Today journalist interviewing one of the students at JNU where she appears to be ‘coaching’ the person. The student himself is member of a leftist political dispensation in the university. In the video, the journalist, quite clearly, appears to be having extensive discussions regarding what the events that transpired at the University and at one point, has a prolonged hush-hush discussion with the student that’s not audible to the ears.
The student, here, is the Vice-President of the JNU Students’ Union (JNUSU) Saket Moon who belongs to the Democratic Students Federation, one of the Leftist organizations at the University. The journalist here is Tanushree Pandey of India Today. The video itself appears to be from the 11th of January. An interview between the two was published in a video on the website of India Today on the said date.
In the interview, it can be seen that the ‘journalist’ provides ample opportunity to Saket to peddle his agenda and she goes out of her way to help him pin the blame on the ABVP, all the while absolving the leftist student organizations of all guilt. Saket also, rather weirdly, brings Nathuram Godse into the question and yet, the journalist makes no effort to counter him. The interview, quite clearly, was a deliberate effort to provide the leftist organizations with a platform to peddle their agenda and that is precisely what he does. The journalist does not ask him a single tough question regarding the involvement of the leftist organizations and gives them a free pass completely.
In the video that we have accessed, it can be seen that the two of them have a conversation off the record where an attempt is deliberately made to have a hush-hush conversation so that the content of it is not audible to the observers. Furthermore, in the video, it appears that it isn’t journalism that was happening but propaganda with active collusion between the journalist and the Vice-President of JNUSU. The journalist appears to be buying wholeheartedly into whatever the JNUSU VP was selling and there doesn’t appear to be any effort on her part to verify the claims made by Saket.
From the parts of the conversation that are audible, the two of them can be heard having some discussion of the servers at JNU. At one point, the JNUSU VP says, “I am not a technical person.” Given the fact that he admits such a thing, it’s still not clear as to why the journalist would have such an extensive discussion with someone who, by his own admission, does not have much knowledge on the subject at hand. Weirdly enough, despite his lack of technical knowledge, the journalist appears to be taking his words very seriously. At this point, we have to ask, why?
It is important to note that it is the same journalist who had spread misinformation regarding the JNU servers on social media, a lie OpIndia had busted comprehensively. She had shared the same on Twitter, claiming that despite the claim of JNU administration that university servers were not working between January 3rd to 5th as they were damaged by JNUSU activists, JNU was sending mass mails on January 5. But it was quickly pointed out that JNU is using Gmail services for email, which means its mail servers are not located in JNU campus but at a server farm run by Google. Given the fact that she was talking about servers with the JNUSU VP, it strenghtens the doubt about possible collusion.
Certain questions need to be asked here. There is clear evidence available on record that the cycle of violence was initiated by the Leftist student organizations, why doesn’t the India Today journalist ask a single tough question to the JNUSU VP? Secondly, what was the need to have such a hush-hush conversation with the JNUSU VP under circumstances that are still very murky? Thirdly, to what extent was India Today’s reportage on the matter a collaborative project between the Leftist student organizations and the news network? Or in more simple terms, was India Today’s shoddy reportage on the violence in JNU a consequence of their collusion with Leftist student organizations?
There are enough instances in the past where journalists have resorted to ethical malpractices in order to peddle a certain narrative. The credibility of India Today’s report is already thoroughly compromised and the video that we have accessed now only serves to further dent its credibility. India Today, certainly, has a lot to answer for.