Reporters Without Orders Ep 161: Assam election and perils of Whatsapp forwards

A reporters’ podcast about what made news and what shouldn’t have.

ByNL Team
Reporters Without Orders Ep 161: Assam election and perils of Whatsapp forwards
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This episode is hosted by Akanksha Kumar, who is joined by Ashwine Kumar Singh of Newslaundry, and Ayan Sharma, a freelance journalist based in Assam.

Ayan is currently covering the Assam election for Newslaundry. Talking about his recent reports from the ground, he argues that the BJP wave doesn’t seem to be as strong as in the last election. “That doesn’t mean the BJP doesn’t have an advantage,” he adds. Ayan also talks about the politics of recurrent floods in the state and its ethnic diversity, and how that affects election outcomes.

Ashwine was recently in Indore’s Tarpatti Bhagal area, where health workers out for Covid screening had been attacked in April last year. The violence, he recounts, was instigated by fake Whatsapp rumours.

“Messages were spread with rumours that these health workers were going to take the local Muslims to the hospital and butcher them and make them infertile,” Ashwine says. So when they went into Tarpatti Bhagal, they were attacked. The reaction to the Covid outbreak at the Tablighi Jamaat’s headquarters in Delhi’s Nizamuddin played a role as well, he adds. Read his report.

This and a lot more as they talk about what made news, what didn’t, and what shouldn’t have.

Tune in!



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Produced by Jude Weston, edited by Saif Ali Ekram.

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