Let’s Talk About: Post-Truth

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WrittenBy:NL Team
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In 2016, Oxford Dictionaries declared post-truth as word of the year. The word post-truth dominated debates during the recent American President elections. It’s been bandied about in debates and in essays, but, what exactly does post-truth mean? Is it destructive and damaging? Is there a solution?

In this episode of Let’s Talk About, Madhu Trehan, Editor in Chief of Newslaundry, speaks to several Indian and international journalists, authors and academicians who were at this year’s Jaipur Literature Festival. Together, they get to the bottom of the phenomenon known as post-truth.


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Mihir S.Sharma is a Delhi-based journalist, economist and author. Sharma edited and wrote a column for the opinion pages of The Indian Express and Business Standard. Mihir’s book, Restart: The Last Chance For The Indian Economy , was published in 2015. He has also won a Siriram Sanlam award for financial journalism. He is also the Indian columnist for Bloomberg View.

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Manu Joseph is a journalist and novelist. He is the former editor of OPEN magazine and has written two novels, Serious Men and The Illicit Happiness of Other People. Joseph was a columnist for The International New York Times and has won awards including The Hindu Literature Prize and The American Pen Book Award.

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John Elliott is a British journalist and author based in Delhi. Elliott has worked with the Financial Times and has been in South Asia for more than 20 years. Elliott’s writings have appeared in The Economist, New Statesman and Fortune magazine. He is the author of Implosion: India’s Tryst With Reality. Elliott has a regular column, titled “Riding the Elephant”, in Newsweek, The Independent and Asia Sentinel.

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AN Wilson is a British writer and columnist. Wilson has written over 50 books, including biographies and novels. His biography of Queen Victoria was the basis of the highly-acclaimed television drama, Victoria. He has been a contributor to Times Literary Supplement, New Statesman, The Spectator and The Observer.

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Simon Winchester is a British writer, journalist and broadcaster. Winchester’s books include The Professor and the Madman, The Men Who United the States, Atlantic, The Man Who Loved China, A Crack in the Edge of the World and Krakatoa, all of which were The New York Times bestsellers. He’s worked as a journalist with The Journal and The Guardian among others. Winchester was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) “for services to journalism and literature” in 2006.

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Sunil Khilnani is an author and currently the Avantha professor and director of the India Institute at King’s College, London. His books include Arguing Revolution: The Intellectual Left in Postwar France, The Idea of India and Civil Society: History and Possibilities. He has most recently authored Incarnations: India in 50 Lives, which accompanies his 50-part podcast and radio series broadcast on BBC Radio 4.

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Shrabani Basu is a London-based author. Basu began her career in 1983 as a trainee journalist with The Times of India in Mumbai. In 1987, she moved to London and has been a correspondent for The Telegraph and Anand Bazar Patrika. Her books include Spy Princess: The Life of Noor Inayat Khan, Victoria & Abdul: The True Story of the Queen’s Closest Confidant. She is also the founder and chair of the Noor Inayat Khan Memorial Trust.

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Barry Windsor Cunliffe is a writer and archaeologist, as well as the Emeritus Professor of European Archaeology at the University of Oxford. Cunliffe has authored a number of books, including The Ancient Celts, Britain Begins, and By Steppe, Desert and Ocean: The Birth of Eurasia .

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Luke Harding is a journalist, writer and award-winning foreign correspondent with The Guardian. He has also served as The Guardian’s South Asia Bureau chief in Delhi. Harding has covered wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and wasn’t allowed back into Russia because his reports didn’t find favour with President Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin. Two of Harding’s books have been made into Hollywood movies, The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World’s Most Wanted Man and WikiLeaks: Julian Assange’s War on Secrecy.

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Max Roddenbeck is the South Asia Bureau chief of The Economist magazine. Previously, Roddenbeck has reported from the Middle East for more than two decades. He is also the author of Cairo: The City Victorious.

HostMadhu Trehan

ProducerKartik Nijhawan

Assistant ProducerShubham Mishra

EditingUmrav Singh Gurjar

RecordingAnil Kumar


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