Pegasus report: Some papers skip, The Hindu, Telegraph feature govt pressure claim on front page

Two months ago, sections of the media had tried to dismiss concerns surrounding the Apple alerts.

WrittenBy:NL Team
Date:
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A day after a joint investigation by Amnesty International and Washington Post suggested that two Indian journalists had been targeted with Pegasus spyware, few prominent dailies carried a report from an Indian source.

The investigation came two months after several politicians and journalists claimed they had received alerts from Apple about “state-sponsored attackers”. Siddharth Varadarajan, founding editor of The Wire, and Anand Mangnale, the South Asia editor at The Organised Crime and Corruption Report Project, were among those targeted, with “the latest identified case” in October, it said.

Meanwhile, a Washington Post report claimed that after the Apple alerts, central government officials had called Apple’s India representatives “to demand that the company help soften the political impact of the warnings”. 

While the media had given prominent coverage to the issue back in October, involving several top opposition politicians, with anonymous sources and algorithm tweak theories, the report by Amnesty and Post did not get as much attention on Thursday.

Among the dailies that covered it prominently were The Hindu, Telegraph, and the Indian Express, with reports on the front page. But the reports varied.

The Hindu mentioned both the joint investigation as well as the Washington Post report which claimed government pressure on Apple. It was the second lead report on the front page.

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The Indian Express, on the other hand, did not mention the Washington Post report but included Union minister Rajeev Chandrashekhar’s tweet calling the report “half facts, fully embellished”. It featured it as a single column.

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The Telegraph’s report chose to highlight the claims about government pressure in the headline too, with the title “Pegasus snoop trail & pressure”.

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The most prominent English daily, The Times of India, however, skipped any mention of the report.

The Hindustan Times, on the other hand, chose to feature it as a detailed report on the world page, with agencies as source.

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Business papers also had varied coverage. Business Standard, for example, skipped the report.

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Mint, meanwhile, had it on its news page as an anchor report. But as a trimmed AFP copy, without the political context and history.

These developments come nearly two years after India reportedly used Israeli spyware for targeted surveillance. Get all the details here.

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