In the past few months, since Barkha Dutt left NDTV, we have noticed her raising questions on the way NDTV operates and have a relationship with the powerful people in the politics and mainstream media. She has been answering hard-hitting questions which she used to avoid while being on NDTV. So much so, she had heated arguments with Nidhi Razdan over twitter recently when she accused NDTV of having double standards over freedom of expression, freedom of speech and economic offenses.
TISS became the platform for the attack
In a fresh attack from Barkha’s side, she threw a nuke on NDTV team while interacting with students at Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai. While answering Vishakha Joshi who is a student at TISS about the journalists being relatives of politicians, she said that the journalists should be open about the relationship they have with a politician or a specific company. If the relationship can be a reason for potential conflict of interest, it should be out in open.
She said that in NDTV’s public articulations a disclaimer should be posted in clear bold letters that “the editor” is married to a politician or seeing one. If the owner is related to someone, it should also be open in public so that the listeners can have right to reject the opinion that is presented in the news.
Later on, her social media account on Twitter, she mentioned same to her followers that she has the right to know if there is any conflict of interest in any media house so that the information provided by that media house can be determined on the basis of the perception of bias.
The truth of relationships with politicians within NDTV
It has to be noted that presently many senior NDTV journalists are relatives of politicians who are active and belong to Congress and the left parties. Sonia Singh, who is a well-known face of NDTV and currently holds the position of Editorial Director of NDTV, is married to RPN Singh who served as Minister of State for Home Affairs in UPA government. Ravish Kumar; another famous anchor on the network is the brother of Congress leader Brajesh Kumar Pandey who was recently accused of sexually exploiting a minor Dalit girl. Going to the higher positions in the hierarchy, the wife of Prannoy Roy, Radhika is the sister of CPM leader Brinda Karat.
With such penetration of opposition parties in the channel, it is hard to believe that they can present non-biased news. Hence, what Barkha Dutt said should be considered not only by NDTV but also by other media houses so that they can present themselves in a better light.