2021 didn’t exactly give the best of starts to Indian journalists, as prominent names were entangled in different problems whether due to WhatsApp, Harvard, or even the capital market. Let’s take a look at what happened in the case of each.
Crux of the Matter
CNBC Show Host Fraud
Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) recently banned Hemant Ghai, his wife, and his mother from the capital market for alleged “fraudulent trading practices”.
Ghai was CNBC Awaaz show host. The CNBC group has sacked him from the show after the SEBI announcement. SEBI also directed to seize the proceeds of ₹2.95 crores generated by fraud and banned him from providing investment advice till further notice.
What Was The Fraud?
As per reports:
- Ghai purchased shares in accounts of his wife and his mother a day before recommending on the show.
- Sold shares immediately after the market opened on the recommendation day.
- Made significant benefits from the change in price caused by his recommendations.
On 13 June 2020, journalist Nidhi Razdan announced her resignation from NDTV. She announced joining as “Associate Professor teaching journalism as part of Harvard University’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences”.
As per Joshua Benton, director of ‘Nieman Journalism Lab’ at Harvard University:
- Harvard has “has no school of journalism, no department of journalism, and no professors of journalism”.
- Only related section is “Master of Liberal Arts (ALM) in Extension Studies, field: Journalism” – even that has “no full-time journalism faculty”.
Razdan later claimed that she was a victim of a “phishing attack”, and filed a complaint with the Delhi police cyber cell.
1000+ page WhatsApp chats between Arnab Goswami of Republic and former Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) CEO Partho Dasgupta were recently leaked amidst the ongoing TRP manipulation scam. As per the purported chats:
- Then Union Minister of I&B Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore ‘kept it [DTH matter] aside on Arnab’s asking.
Republic TV and Zee Media allegedly used the DTH service of DD to reach viewers without paying it.
- Dasgupta requested Goswami to get him a job at PM Office due to the latter’s ‘connection’ with Government.
- Goswami called India TV anchor Rajat Sharma “cheat… [getting] away by fudging the BARC system”.
- Goswami stated “This attack we have won like crazy” over Pulwama attack as his coverage apparently got his channel more ratings.
- Goswami asked Dasgupta months before launching Republic TV to “take care of disti” (sic) [distribution] in alleged ratings manipulation. Dasgupta replied, “Very very well covered, much ahead of times”.
- Harvard has more alumni, faculty, and researchers who have won Nobel Prizes (161) and Fields Medals (18) than any other university in the world. Students and alumni have also won 10 Academy Awards, 48 Pulitzer Prizes, and 108 Olympic medals (46 gold), and they have founded many notable companies.
- Arnab Goswami resigned as editor-in-chief of Times Now on 1 November 2016, citing editorial differences, lack of freedom, and newsroom politics. On 16 December, Goswami announced his next venture — a news channel called Republic; the name was later changed to Republic TV.
- Rajat Sharma has interviewed more than 750 guests on his show Aap Ki Adalat. In 2015, Sharma was awarded with Padma Bhushan for his contributions through Journalism.