In a town hall meeting held days after the Adani takeover , the network’s new leadership on Wednesday addressed questions by staff about the news organisation’s editorial freedom, salaries, expansion, and BJP spokespersons on shows.
In a message inviting employees to attend the meeting, NDTV president Suparna Singh had said that she was aware that there were several questions, and they would try to share information that would help employees move, as a team, into a new phase.
The meeting, which began at 3 pm, lasted over an hour. Many employees gathered at a studio inside the company’s office in Greater Kailash while several others joined online. It started with Singh making a brief introduction before passing on the mic to the channel’s new board of directors – Sanjay Pugalia, Senthil Sinniah Chengalvarayan – and others from the management.
An employee said that the discussion was “positive” even though Pugalia and the others did not give a straight response to any of the concerns.
Another staffer said that a lot of people had chosen to stay with NDTV not because of the money but because of the kind of stories they can do and the journalism that is practiced at the channel. Asked if all that will change, Pugalia denied, saying that the raw material of NDTV as a product is its credibility.
Questions about salaries and the network’s financial condition were also raised. The new management said it was aware that several staffers had received little or no hikes over the last few years but stated that this situation will gradually improve. Resources and funds shall be granted but not at one go, they said.
The management was also asked about NDTV’s business reporting; they responded by saying they wanted to restart NDTV Profit – a channel that went off air in 2018.
Asked about the location of the company’s headquarters, the management said the firm’s expansion plans may require more space though the current office is a landmark. Questions were also asked about the network’s digital roadmap and about making the bureaus stronger.
There was no mention of Prannoy Roy or Radhika Roy.
An employee pointed out that BJP spokespersons don’t appear on the channel’s shows, and asked if there was scope to change that. According to employees, Pugalia jokingly said this was a “trick” question but added that they will continue to make attempts to do the same. Asked if guest panelists will be paid, the management said this will be considered in future.
Pugalia did not respond to requests for comment by Newslaundry.
For other details, read this piece on Newslaundry Hindi.
A weekly guide to the best of our stories from our editors and reporters. Note: Skip if you're a subscriber. All subscribers get a weekly, subscriber-only newsletter by default.