Can You Take It R Jagannathan?

R Jagannathan, digital don and Editor-in-Chief, Firstpost talks to Madhu Trehan about how the traditional print model is broke and can't be fixed, the only reason why online media should align with print media, why plagiarism is a crime with a small C, his advice for Kapil Sibal and more.

R Jagannathan, digital don and Editor-in-Chief, Firstpost talks to Madhu Trehan about how the traditional print model is broke and can’t be fixed, the only reason why online media should align with print media, why plagiarism is a crime with a small C, his advice for Kapil Sibal and more.

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  • Ashton

    good interview but Madhu needs to stop being overly sensitive to the Govt. attempting to put curbs particularly when she admits that the media itself is failing in this. Another view is to accept that Govt being adversarial to media is a sign of a freer press.

  • Anurag

    Thanks News laundry for some real good interviews. Hope you generate lots of revenue 🙂 and continue with your good work

  • Brajesh

    Good interview, and it feels good to know the views of the various authors who shape up public perception by their articles, chats, interviews and debates over a particular issue. Following all these can-you-take-it interviews with journalists, I have observed that there are two kinds of journalists in india…one who are accepting the rot within media and probably are feeling suffocated about the money coming from corporate and government and thus trying to control running the show….and another category of journalists who would just defended their acts, articles, business model they follow. Second category seems to have limited vision for improving their standards. However half-an-hour interview is just very short to understand a journalist completely.

    Probably we are living in very interesting times when credibility of media is at stake, our so-called elite vocal english news tv channels are loosing the faith faster than any other language or medium. Internet journalism has started to show its mark, regional news channels have raised their acceptibilty, social media is helping everyone to shape up their views. Journalism is changing its face in this country constantly.

  • Marx

    There goes madhu trehan again trying to gain support nd justifying her totally uninformed ‘opinion’ on baba ramdv.

    Journos who have no idea about the nin-english speaking ‘scene’ are ignorant about baba ramdevs anticorruption nd blackmoney awareness initiative for three good years before anna toook over the front stage, at a time wen anti corruptin talk was not at all fashionable nd people pretty much accepted it as part of life.
    If you care abt being a good journo, do a simple study. Find out how many programs baba ramdev conducted on blackmoney nd anticorruption over the period of three yrs bfore anna bcame popular. The programs shud inckude his talks, drives, meetings, people mobilization, organisation of teams to spread awareness and their work. All this was on ground and thru astha tv , nothing on english channels orrint so the journos r not aware. Theyre of the opinion tht this guy suddenly jumped into the bandwagon nd cashing in on it. Please, its a shame on ur ignorance. Do some study , double check ur opinions, if u learn u were wrong, correct it and acknowledge in further works of urs. Jaggi said a beautiful thing ab consistency of fools. Ive been observing this is mos journos lately, they take a stand and defend it si so much tht there is no scope for introspection or reassessment

    • madhu

      Ramdev has been working to clean up other people’s corruption but no explanation from you on his trust making profits, his behaviour as a leader who runs away in women’s clothes while followers are beaten, his island off Scotland?

      • You seriously think that if the ED & CBI digging into records for 1+ years had found anything that warrants serious charges against Baba Ramdev (see how I use the moniker ‘Baba’, that shows respect even if I don’t believe in all of his sayings and doings) wouldn’t have done so? They would have locked the guy up and thrown the key away and your ilk would have sniggered contemptuously as is your wont. After all, how can a dehati bring up issues to which the liberati have staked a claim for so long? The horror!!

        Also, remind yourself as to how many people have died in recent times due to excessive use of Police force, and how many have been killed because they raised a voice against the govt. Baba Ramdev could have lost his life that night, he did what comes naturally to all humans when confronted by life threatening danger – he fled. When the fear of death confronts you, you do silly things Madhu. Many people during life threatening situations have fled in disguise, you only have to turn the pages of history to know so. I would expect you to see this without me pointing it out but then logic is the first fatality in such cases of blind hatred.

        • leo

          Excuse me…No poor is eqipped to doante anything to his institution so as to amass a property of 1100 crores…All the donees are the ones who have black money..and they get income tax exemptions on these donations…Why don’t Baba Ramdev dare to ask them first…where that money came from..?…Jinke ghar sheeshe ke hote hain jaani…wo dusron ke ghar par pathhar nahi feka karte

          And he ran away, that is not his fault…His fault was that, despite the fact that he was leading the agitation, he turned selfish, not to even bother about thousands of people sleeping there for him..?..If he would have cared about them…he would have first tried to find an escape route for them…He behaved in a disgusting manner like cowards…wearing clothes of a woman..and running away…So don’t even try to defend his actions..

          • ram jane

            You know that he runs patanjali and in his yog camps there are donation boxes. Your comment is stupidity par excellence.

      • Madhu – While I absolutely believe that Ramdev has political ambitions (which in the past he has been open about, as well) but Marx has brought out a valid point..Ramdev indeed has been rallying people around anti-corruption & bringing back the Black Money for past few years..He may have his own version of economics (whose basics he learnt from a late IITian), which may sound voo-doo to us but it definitely carries his message across to his followers in the language they understand..Though I feel his demand of bringing back black money is quite novice ’cause perhaps he does not realise it but the black money has already come back to India through tax havens via over-invoiced exports route and invested in other black economy sectors like the past 5 years amount of exports reported by BT-500 companies is grossly at variance with the official figures and suddenly it shows multi-fold export to purely tax haven economies like Cayman isles or Mauritius..

        Regarding his trusts making profits, I don’t think making profits is a crime unless made via illegal means (which the authorities have to prove but can we trust this govt with a fair probe under the circumstances??)

        His running away in women’s clothing was plain stupidity & naivete..had he been politically savvy or with smart advisers, he would have been advised to court arrest and become a martyr hero overnight (like Anna did in his Tihar Jail stint)..But looks like Ramdev did get the advise finally and used it in his August agitation this year..

        Can’t say much about his Isle off Scotland aprt from what he himself claims (gifted?!)..Only fair investigation can prove the right or wrong..

      • Marx

        Madhu ji,

        1. Corruption in Trust :
        it suprises me that u hav
        come to a conclusion. Its an allegation! By the congress govt! Its using
        its power to control ramdev. Is it really fair on your part to assume
        that cong allegations are correct and substantiate them on television
        debates (times now – tagging along with suhel seth) ? But if u have
        conclusive proofs please publish them in your site thank u

        2. Running in Women’s Dress :
        heres what happened, officially.
        come at midnight, to arrest him, he jumps into the crowd, goes in the
        women’s section, covers him up with a saree and cops have a hard time
        locating him.
        I am an ordinary citizen, no intellectual journo, but
        even my simple mind can understand the simple common sense behind what
        he did.
        Why did the police not come in the day? there would be
        enormous resistance from people. The only way to handle that resistance
        would be through heinous inhuman violence which they cant afford to
        resort to, even if they dont mind to. Their plan was to attack in the
        night when all were sleeping, get to the stage quickly, catch ramdev,
        force their way out.
        Ramdev jumped into the crowd, put on a saree
        among the women, thereby creating time for people to become aware of
        whats happening and put forth a resistance like they would in the day.
        It would make it impossible for the police to get to ramdev in that huge
        fully awake and aware crowd. They would have to retreat. Its a great
        idea really. But the police, beyond anybodys expectations, behaved like
        the british, used brutal violence to get to ramdev, even killing an
        elderly woman. Its atrocious police action which the media did not at
        all highlight. They bloody showed ramdev jumping off the stage, made a
        caricature out of it. The supreme court later on had very hard things to
        say about the brutal police action.
        And you give a pathetic spin to it, in ur own words – “a leader runs away in women’s clothes while followers are beaten”
        it seem like he tried to run away from the place itself…i really
        respect u but this is really really immature on ur part. Clearly driven
        by bias

        3. Island off Scotland:
        my god u make it seem like some secret property he owns abroad lol
        called the ‘Wee Cumbrae’ island, scotland. Its an official center for
        Patanjali Yog Peeth Trust, United Kingdom. Conducts regular yoga camps
        Here is a tour video of participants of a yoga camp going around the island and their short interviews

        And here are some links to the programs the trust conducts in the island

        would encourage you to contact Mrs. Sunita Poddar of Patanjali Yog
        Peeth Trust, UK to find out about camps and activities happening in wee
        cumbrae. And maybe even attend one…

        Subramanian swamy said in
        an interview that ramdev proudly told him that he bought a small part of
        a country which once ruled india for more than 100 yrs.
        bought that and developed a yoga center there, a beautiful indic retreat
        for all UK citizens. He hopes it to become a hub of all yoga activity
        in UK.
        THERE IS NOTHING SECRET ABOUT IT. NOR is it his private island
        where he goes to ‘holiday’ regularly – he’s no rahul gandhi the holiday


        All your three points are uninformed opinions
        driven by nothing but bias against some medieval unmodern illiterate
        baba who tried to jump into the bandwagon and use it for his personal
        ambition. Think again.

        And please please do one little favour.
        a little study on ‘Bharat Swabhimaan Andolan’. When was it formed, and
        what all activites did it do – by the month. Contact them if necessary,
        theyl provide details.
        And most importantly, learn about when they
        wanted to make this movement political and launch a Bharat Swabhimaan
        Party. It was long before Anna came into the national scene. The andolan
        had a strong and wide mass following base in the rural-town non english
        speaking belt which has no space in national media. He was potential
        political game changer in those belts. Why do u think pranab put a red
        carpet? And you think all those people coming to his protests are fools –
        you will be surprised by the awareness they have just try speaking to

        Without having any knowledge about all this background, it
        is easy to churn out an opinion that he came out of obscurity into the
        political scene for some personal mileage. But what suprises me is that
        respected journos like you do that. I think its bcos of ur lack of
        understanding of the non-english speaking scene and ur elitist bias
        about illiterate babas and their foolish followers.

        Time to review. Welcome to India

  • Nilesh

    Excellent Interview .

  • Ajay

    Jaggiji interview was really nice.. but Madhu let your guests talk a little more than yourself.. btw newslaundry is doing a fab job.. best wishes for future.

  • Akhilesh

    I really think that R Jagganathan is one of the best journalists in the Indian online media. His articles on First Post are very relevant, well-thought out and terse. For example: His article on India’s independence (on August 15th) made me really think of independence not just from the nation’s point of view but also from an individualistic point of view. Thanks for interviewing him. I really think News Laundry is doing a great job. We need an open forum for discussion today. I sincerely hope you can continue to do this in an open, fair and unbiased manner. In a functioning democracy, all views must be presented and Madhu, it’s your job to pose questions that challenge those views. I loved the way your persistent question on plagiarism made R Jaggannathan re-think his views on the subject. It speaks volumes on both of you. This is democracy at work. This is how journalism should be.
    As a suggestion, it would be great if you can devote five minutes to take questions posted on social media for your interviewees.

  • Nikhil

    i am addicted to this website. respect. would like to donate what i can to keep it strong.

  • mr jagannath, just for the sake of argument, you take modi’s name alongside rahul and mayawati saying he talks DOWN to the people, why did you forget google hangout to talk TO the people?

  • Smita

    Where’s my comment? I insist that you put it back!

  • There can be another reason for 57% supporting Aseem Trivedi’s arrest..and which is that there is a well organised congress cyber-army (as per some media reports, helmed by Digvijay Singh) to protect UPA/ Cong on the net so they will troll a poll to swing it their way..

  • @LSRstudent

    Love Newlaundry. Keep it up y’all 🙂

  • Raoji

    Wish Jaggy had brought up Aroon Purie’s plagiarizing when Madhu was going hammer and tongs at him early on in the interview.Would have been interesting to see Madhu defend (or not) her brother’s actions !

    Jaggu is v right in saying that our leaders dont actually talk to people.But he is wrong in including Narendra Modi in the list. NaMo is trying to reach out – via Urdu press, Twitter and Google Talk.

    One of the best questions was whether Jaggu will print an article which is negative of Mukesh Ambani.I thought Jaggu was lying thru his teeth when he said he wouldn’t.The Nira Radia tapes clearly indicate how Senthil put pressure on the Forbes team when the mag carried an article on MDA’s children studying in Yale.

  • Karthick

    Another great interview Madhu. However the question Why was the article on Chidambaram blocked? was never answered. What was the article about?

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  • Aware Indian

    “Have you stopped beating your wife? Yes or no, both answers would be wrong.”

    HA HA HA HA HA HA… Jaggi is EPIC!

  • Prakash

    Mr.jaggi says that even hateful comments on firstpost are welcome. I always thought its great tht allows all kinds of comments, even against the author of the articles. That made it different from any other platform where people had to just consume the author even if he gives bullshit.

    BUT, now has a comment moderation policy, here it is

    —“Firstpost encourages open discussion and debate,
    but please adhere to the rules below, before posting. Comments that are
    found to be in violation of any one or more of the guidelines will be
    automatically deleted:
    Personal attacks/name calling will not be
    tolerated. This applies to comments directed at the author, other
    commenters and other politicians/public figures
    Please do not post comments that target a specific community, caste, nationality or religion.
    While you do not have to use your real name, any
    commenters using any Firstpost writer’s name will be deleted, and the
    commenter banned from participating in any future discussions.
    Comments will be moderated for abusive and offensive language.”—-
    Now a so-called journo called TS Sudhir wrote a shameful and hateful article on Telagana agitation with nothing but lies.
    Now i am supposed to intellectually put forth my argument and cannot say anything against sudhir exposing his bias and elitist pro-establishment fear-mongering progapanganda . But sudhir can do the same in his article.

    Guidelines say ‘personal attacks’ on author not allowed. Now if an author is wantedly promoting false propaganda, why should i not call him a propagandist? There is so much grey area here.
    Dear Jaggi, what makes firstpost special has been demolished now. The true democratic commenting system was wat made firstpost standout and useful. But now again we are just left to consume whatever shit the author says and are only allowed to respond in a certain way tht might not justfiy a true response to that article or its author.

    Thank you for running the site openly till now, and no thank you for making it a shutup-and-consume site like all others

  • Aman

    Dear Ms Trehan,

    I respect you a lot but when you interview people, please let THEM speak.
    It ends up looking like an interview of ‘The Interviewed’ and YOU.
    You can talk more in maybe the debates but let interview be interviews.


    A Newslaundry Fan

  • Pavithran

    Ah! He’s the man!! Great guy…love his articles…nice interview..exactly as I imagined him to be!

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  • Jatin Jhala

    What does one make of the fact that the senior media personalities get stock ownership of their employer organisation ?

  • Abhijit

    Was good interview of Madhu Trehan by Jagannathan !! Lady, let him express himself more than “correct” and “hmm” !! It was pretty close to “Can you take Madhu’s monologue?” That was so unlike NL!!

  • Kailashnath Ahir

    I noticed all the newspapers lined up on the wall.

    Point to Ponder: How will it compare to having an electronic display mounted (on the side) with digital media names and
    logos lined up (or even scrolling) on it?


    contempt for any state intervention, in this case food security. coming from people who have rather limited understanding of markets and economics. typical journalistic faff, devoid of any empiricism. food security is bad because firstpost ant et tells us, mgnrega is bad because it reduces tax forgone in that year for corporates and what not. READ dolts read and then provide a critique. markets are not infallible. trickle down doesn’t work always. japan, UK OR ANY OTHER COUNTRY HAS HAD A LONG HISTORY OF PUBLIC INTERVENTION BUT HOW WOULD U CARE, IT DOESN’T SUIT YOUR AGENDA. I SAY. RESEARCH AND DON’T MAKE JUST GLIB REMARKS. WAKE UP!

  • Sekhars

    well when you are on a payroll from Amabani you can’t be un biased