Online news portal News Minute was forced to issue a corrigendum after Republic TV sent them a legal notice for spreading fake news on the TRP manipulation case. On 26th January, the portal had published a report on the ongoing case, quoting a BARC audit report on the issue.
The News Minute article by Sanyukta Dharmadhikari had said that BARC had found manipulation of ratings of Times Now and Republic TV. It claimed that the Times Now channel was removed from panels to bring down its viewership, to benefit Republic TV. The report also said that television viewership ratings were changed from 2016 to 2019 to favour certain channels.
The report had claimed that the audit report had determined fraud in viewership manipulation by BARC from email exchanges between former BARC CEO Partho Dasgupta and Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami. The report had said, Naming Partho Dasgupta and citing his exchanges with Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami, the audit report states, “We can conclude that Mr Partho Dasgupta was aware of the manipulation of the ratings and violation of the processes that was happening in BARC during his stint as CEO. We can also infer that he may be directly involved in these mala-fide actions.”
However, now News Minute has said that their report had mistakenly stated that the BARC Audit report came to a conclusion on the basis of Partho Dasgupta’s exchanges with Arnab Goswami, and actually it was based on “Partho’s exchanges with several of his colleagues at BARC”. They have accordingly made changes to the report, and tweeted that the error is regrated.
After News Minute posted the regret for the error in their report, Republic TV posted a tweet informing that they did this after getting a legal notice from Republic. They informed that they have sent a legal notice to the porting over false reporting by News Minute “trying to falsely and maliciously concoct a story about findings on Mr Dasgupta to any specific “exchanges” with Mr Goswami.”
Earlier today, Republic TV had also filed a defamation suit against Times Now anchor Navika Kumar, and sent a legal notice to Indian Express, over their comments and reporting on the leaked WhatsApp chats of Arnab Goswami and Partho Dasgupta.
The report was also published in another portal Primetimes, which still carries the false in formation.