Anchors and TV journalist from various media houses who spread fake news are protected by the media houses but when an editor speaks out is she is sacked .The India Today Group has terminated the contract of the political editor Angshukanta Chakraborty of its opinion and commentary platform, DailyO, when she refused to delete a tweet from her personal account.
She posted a tweet on February 4 with a general comment on media organisations shielding journalists spreading fake news, While the tweet originally didn’t receive much traction but Chakraborty,received a call from a senior colleague from the editorial team asking her to delete it.Her tweet seems to have hit some raw nerves .When Chakraborty refused to comply with the ‘delete’ order, a meeting of senior editorial staff of the organisation was convened on February 6 where she was once again asked to take down the tweet.A week after the inconclusive meeting, Chakraborty received a call from the human resources team and was given three options:
• To delete the tweet
• Immediate termination of contract
“I have never been asked to censor my opinion. DailyO as a platform is very supportive,” claimed Chakraborty, who would’ve completed three years with the organisation in May.Earlier On January 3, employees received a mail from the group’s management reiterating its social media policy and asking everyone to add a disclaimer that “the views expressed by them and retweets made are in personal capacity”. Chakraborty, like most employees, complied with the policy.
The management claims that they didn’t wish to censor their employees’ social media accounts. “We respect that freedom of expression and repose full trust that our influencers will never cross the line on compromising basic communication courtesy while sharing views and opinion from their personal handles.”but they seem to have selective policy based on political affiliation Few days back an anchor from the India Today Group’s Hindi television channel, Rohit Sardana, had been called out on social media for inflammatory, tendentious reports on Kasganj that contained a fair dose of fabricated information, especially the claim, repeated in this tweet, that a group of Muslims in the Uttar Pradesh town had stopped a group of Hindu youths from unfurling the Indian flag.The India Today Group did some damage control by sending reporters who gave a more accurate account of the violence which saw one Hindu killed and two Muslims injured. But no visible action appears to have been initiated against Sardana.
भारत में रह कर पाकिस्तान का झंडा फहराने वालों को बचाने अनेक ‘बुद्धिजीवी’ मैदान में कूद आते हैं. कासगंज में तिरंगा फहराने पे मार दिए गए आदमी के लिए कोई आवाज़ नहीं?#BharatKeDushman
— Rohit Sardana (@sardanarohit) January 27, 2018
Sardana seems to be unaware of the orginasation’s social media policy that says “Editorial employees must not use their positions to promote personal agendas or causes – implicitly or explicitly. Nor should they allow their internet activities to undermine the impartiality of the India Today Group’s coverage, in fact, intent, or in appearance.”
On several occasions, journalists with the India Today Group have been accused of spreading fake news and resorting to hate mongering while reporting about certain communities.Abhijit Majumder, editor of Mail Today, another group media platform, had also falsely claimed that not one but two Hindus had been killed in the violence but was called out on social media .In April 2017, Aaj Tak ran a fatwa as news that was declared fake by one of its own websites 18 months ago .
Another anchor Sweta Singh claimed that the new 2000 rupee note had an inbuilt nano chip that would be be able to communicate with the satellite if a bunch of notes are stashed somewhere, even if it was 120 metres underground which again turned out to be fake news and she was ridiculed for this on SM .Group also claimed UP CM Yogi Adityanath would mend quotas in private colleges but the claim was refuted by state authorities .