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Saturday, January 31, 2009

On going Barkha bashing in the blogosphere

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Two months after the irresponsible behavior by almost all media houses, the outrage in the blogosphere is still there. It is particularly directed at one individual - Barkha Dutt. So much was her bashing that she was forced to issue a clarification on this issue.

Nanopolitician in his post sarcastic post a couple of days ago Congratulations, NDTV! gave the channel "Clueless Media Company of the Decade" award! Rahul in his fan letter to Barkha says "I am sure you will continue to make more news than you report". Barkha is no stranger to controversies. Former naval chief accused her of compromising the security of the troops by giving their locations. He blamed her for the loss of three Indian soldiers. (Report)

This latest round of bashing has caught up particularly after an apology was issued by Chyetanya Kunte, a blogger apparantly under the threat of filing of a defamation suit by the channel. A couple of facebook groups her behavior have registered thousands of members.

I am not sure whether this was an intelligent move by her. Blogosphere is huge and after all how many blogger can NDTV target. Instead of doing some careful soul searching, they are trying to intimidate fearless bloggers who like to speak their mind in an unbiased manner. However, the Indian media which routinely questions the politicians, bureaucrats and cricketers find it difficult to be on the other side. The recent activity on the blogosphere has hardly been reported by any of the media channels or newspapers. They consider news to be their exclusive domain. But blogosphere has changed the rules of the game but mainstream media still remains powerful enough to shape public opinion.

The legal notice by NDTV has actually had a negative impact on the image of the channel, even though in a limited way. Going forward, the media has to acknowledge the power of the people and no one is above them.

My personal experience of Barkha's style of reporting isn't good either. She is too melodramatic. I used to get disgusted watching her weekly show "We the people", where she literally used to feed words into the mouths of the panelists.

NDTV is often said to be pro-Congress while TV-18 which runs CNN-IBN is said to be pro-BJP. ManMohan Singh won the NDTV-Indian of the Year in 2007 while Barkha Dutt won Padma Shri in 2008. Is it there some relation between the two? Who knows? We all know how fair the awards selection is and several other recipients in the past have not accepted the award accusing that the 'selection was politically motivated'.

Now just to be fair, I would also like to add that Rajdeep Sardesai, the Editor-in-Chief of CNN-IBN, was also among the Padma Shri award winners of 2008. I am sure with my blog not attracting too much traffic, I won't be targeted by NDTV.

If you believe in Freedom of expression, please join the Facebook groups:Barkha Dutt for worst journalist in the world and Can u please take BARKHA off air!

1 comment:

  1. I feel treatment for Chaitanya was very harsh.We should not forget that Barkha Dutt is well connected and has a lot of influence with NDTV.
    In normal course,bloggers should ignore her and at the same time build an opinion such that no other journalist can do what she did.
    As for "We the people" is concerned, I was present at one of the shoots at the Archana studio.All I can say is it was her show.....I was only waiting for it to get over.
    Can the bloggers community please tell her to have another shoot on 'We the people" and the subject would be CHYETANYA episode.Will the bloggers unite??Let there be action and not only discussions.