This week on NL Hafta, Newslaundry’s Abhinandan Sekhri, Anand Vardhan, Manisha Pande, and Raman Kirpal are joined by Aunindyo Chakravarty, a former senior managing editor at NDTV India and NDTV Profit who currently works with NewsClick.
The discussion begins with the transcripts of the purported WhatsApp chats between Republic’s Arnab Goswami and former BARC CEO Partho Dasgupta. Abhinandan says, “I think Arnab hasn’t denied these chats and he has had more than enough time to. Neither have any of the other players denied the chats saying that these are nonsense, ‘this has not been said by us’.”
Raman says: “There’s an issue of ethics involved in this but let’s face it: when it comes to the case that the Mumbai police have made, they need to very clearly establish that money has exchanged hands.”
Aunindyo says the ratings game in Indian television mirrors what the WhatsApp chats revealed. “There’s nothing unique about what Arnab is doing,” he says. “If there were chats to be leaked, I can bet that this is the discussion between the editors and distribution people of most other channels as well.”
On the Indian cricket team’s win in Australia, Anand says it was a “great achievement”, because “not only was Virat Kohli missing, but they suffered a humiliating defeat in the first Test match. A number of players got injured after that.”
Manisha talks about how Rahul Gandhi chose to hold a press conference at the same time as the cricket victory. “It's not a virtue to not use media or public messaging effectively,” she says. “Part of your job as a politician is to put your message across in the most effective manner possible.”
The conversation also spans the nationwide Covid vaccination drive, the phishing scam faced by Nidhi Razdan, and US President Joe Biden’s inauguration. Tune in!
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