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    NDTV And The History Of Its Journalists

    NDTV never got into green in their balance sheet since their existence, and it is not a secret any more. What the mystery really is; how they could survive for so long? Most of their journalists are highly paid and run around peddling agendas in their fuel guzzling SUVs. An organization which never been profitable could afford such expensive employees while in perpetual loss is little bizarre. You don’t need to be a ‘Chartered Accountant’ to guess how unsustainable this proposition is for any company. There aren’t many head count restructuring in NDTV either; at least I haven’t heard of any major human resource truncation in NDTV to arrest the loss. But they are functioning as if they don’t care for loss. If so, then who is financing them? What is the interest of the financers to keep on pumping money on a failed business? That said, is that too tough to guess? This blogger has elaborated in the past the business model of NDTV and who is financing them and why. I am not here to repeat them again. As is, there are complete books (NDTV Frauds) written on the shoddy affair of NDTV as an organization. What I am here for is for an entirely different but interesting aspect of NDTV – their journalists. And how each one of them fit the bill like duck takes to water.

    Pronoy Roy started his TV career with a show called ‘World This Week’ some 30 years back. And this was the pre Gulf war era. Post the introduction of cable TV in India PR tied up with Star network and produced news content for their 24X7 English news channel. After 7-8 years (or is it more?) of association PR suddenly walked out of the contract and floated his own channels, namely, NDTV 24X7 and NDTV India, the Hindi platform. Now from here the interesting part starts. When PR got the license for the channels it wasn’t that easy to get them from the information and broadcasting ministry. It was really tough. On the ground of national security all up-linking of private channels were done through Prasar Bharati. This arrangement came with a substantial running cost. The initial security deposit itself went into many crores. Not sure from where PR got that much of money. But I am not worried too much on the initial investment part. I would rather give the benefit of doubt to PR here. What bothers me here is how NDTV got the licenses so easily. If I am not wrong, back then Tata Sons also applied for broadcasting licenses but were refused. So what was so special with Pranoy Roy? Trust me, I had spent many hours to find a logical reasoning but failed, because, there were none. After much deliberation I thought of diverting my study to an entirely different direction. Was I missing something initially and was just beating around the bush? Of course I was. What was I missing? The answers to it lies if one closely notes the journalists that were part of the network initially, and most of whom are still continuing with the channel. I simply never thought in that direction. Once I changed my orientation towards this route, things started to fall into place. Let me elaborate.

    I have always maintained – our journalists aren’t very bright people. In fact, most of them are outright dumb. They have proven me right time and again. Examples of their collective and individual stupidity would run into half a ton of paper and yet you would still be half done. This applies more ravenously with NDTV journalists than those of any other channel, though most in the business of news fabrication are dumb. However, these journalists would act very smart and give that impression of them being the most learned souls walking on the face of this planet. While in reality they in fact are the exact opposite. Most of them are no better than doorknobs. One thing they know is to relentlessly peddle nasty agendas on behest of their masters. That’s what they are busy doing since eternity in the name of journalism. If you ever thought that these selfsame agenda hawkers got their jobs because of their journalistic brilliance, then you are missing the fact by a galaxy’s distance. They know nothing about journalism, and trust me when I say this. What they are doing is far from what real journalists do. These are a bunch of incompetent souls who know nothing about journalism. Let’s go one by one of these celebrated journalists who started their career with NDTV, because, there where the real secret lies. It would also throw us an interesting perspective as to how these wheeler-dealers made it big in Indian journalism without any real journalistic achievements to their names.

    Sagarika Ghose – She doesn’t need any introduction. In fact, most of the names I am going to list don’t need any introduction at all. I call her ‘Category5Moron’, but affectionately. She holds the key to the very basic question on how PR could get the licenses. Yes, it lies with SG. PR must keep on thanking SG for that, which I am sure he would still be doing. This also explains how SG being below mediocre would get the job in NDTV. SG is the daughter of Bhashkar Ghose, a known corrupt director general of Prasar Bharati. His escapades with massive corruption would speak for themselves if one goes around studying the time period of Pramod Mahajan as the I&B minister. His corruption footprints even stretch much before that, but we aren’t going that far or else this entire post would be on him alone. By the way, this guy was at the helm when NDTV applied for the licenses and got them in seven days flat. Does it sound a bell? A helpful father made sure that in exchange of his over the top help for NDTV his good for nothing daughter gets the job that she doesn’t deserve at all. Hence, along with the two licenses, Sagarika Ghose too landed on Pranoy Roy’s lap (read channel). But this woman behaves as if she is the Michelangelo of Indian journalism, overflowing with raw talent.

    Srinivasan Jain – Yes the ‘Truth Vs Hype’ chap. Only thing – all he has is just hype because the truth behind his NDTV job is bitter. It would bewilder many HR managers to see this extremely ordinary and below average journalist could survive so long in the market. But surprisingly, he not only has survived but also has flourished during the same period. How is that possible? Let’s go to the Vajpayee era again. How many of you remember an incident involving our then ambassador to South Africa? That guy was colluding with SA government to shame India on a UN forum. This was regarding the Pokhran nuclear test. Vajpayee government duly suspended the ambassador citing his incompetency and work against the state. Should I call that main a traitor? Of course he is. The man in question is named L.C Jain. I am sure you can now join the dots. Srini is the son of that man. His father was busy conspiring against the nation while son now is busy lecturing the world on secularism and other assorted nonsense. Srini is yet another run-of-the-mill journalist who found his way into NDTV because of his father’s work. What are his personal achievements as a journalist except peddling fake agendas? Absolutely nothing.

    Rajdeep Sardesai – Now comes the street thug. Do you think he knows anything even remotely associated with journalism? I seriously doubt. Many would be knowing that he is the son of an ex cricketer Deelip Sardesai. Another influential father. But most not be knowing that the senior Sardesai wrote a book called ‘Democracy - XI’, not on Cricket but on politics. He literally word worshiped Indira Gandhi and most in the Nehru-Gandhi family with best of words. He even found emergency was an evil necessity, which he elaborated in his book. Interesting!! Now his son is pretty much doing the same, even if that means showing his boxing prowess on foreign lands. Along with his father, his wife Sagaraika Ghose too had a role to play on how he managed to squeeze into NDTV setup. Like most from the NDTV stable, RS is far from being bright. He only knows agenda shoving, much like Srinivasan Jain.

    Nidhi Razdan – Bimbo in chief and the dumbest of all. She even thinks she can question the wisdom of our Apex Court. How this bimbo found her place in NDTV when she is barely qualified for a receptionist’s job? No clue? When you are clueless of these celebrity journos, look no beyond than their Dads in the background. Believe me, this works most of the time. Here too Nidhi’s father holds the key. He heads the largest news house of India called ANI. Not sure if he has retired or not but that hardly matters. If insiders were to be believed, Nidhi’s father played a big role in PR getting the licenses. Recommendations, you see? Like Sagarika, Nidhi too fell on the lap of Pronoy Roy along with the licenses. Rest as they say is history. Her massive journalistic work also made sure that an ex CM divorced his wife of 10 years. Interesting piece of achievement for a journalist. Most scribes around the world would be very proud of Nidhi and her achievements.

    Sonia Singh – Her godfather is pretty straightforward. You don’t have to work too much to unearth that. She is the second wife of the ex-minister of state for home. He was the MoS home in the UPA government. Though I haven’t seen Sonia Singh peddling lies as ferociously as others in NDTV do but her loyalty to Congress more than journalism was never in doubt. When your husband is a minister in the ruling government your bias towards the government is only natural. We should give that much to Sonia Singh. Barring few occasions when her maid falls ill because of some policy of the Modi Sarkar, she is pretty much an accidental journalist. Like most in NDTV, her offer letter has more to do with her political clout, this time direct, than her journalistic excellence. Forget excellence, I am not sure if she has studied in any mass communication college or not to begin with. Husband a Congress minister and wife walks into the most trusted mouthpiece of Congress without much fuss; absolutely a flawless equation

    Sara Jacob – Another bimbo who is there in NDTV because of her close proximity to power. When did you last saw her doing the job of a journalist? I haven’t ever. So how does she made it there and that too become a celebrity journalist? Her grandfather, if I am not wrong, was the governor of Meghalaya or something. But that is part of the reason for her success story, not the entire one. The bigger part is her father-in-law. Her FIL is one of the biggest Lutyen freeloader going by the name Monteksingh Ahluwallia. I hope I have spelled the freeloader correctly. There is no free scotch circuit across Delhi where MSA wasn't a member. Like what her FIL always was SJ is nothing but mediocre in her alleged profession. We all know what MSA did as the planning commission chairman. At least he made sure that her DIL gets into the perfect agenda peddling machine that supports his and his master’s narrative and covers his own crime as the planning commission head successfully.

    Ravish Kumar – Bimbo equivalent in male form and the crankiest of them all. I am told, he actually worked his way up in journalism and I had no substantial reason to disagree. I have seen few of his shows and they were tolerable, if not good. More the reason I believed he is an exception with NDTV. But his godforsaken brother ruined it all, including his cleverly fabricated image. He not only was caught while running an inter-state (or was it inter-continental?) prostitution racket but it was also found that he is a Congressi. Was it the case of an influential brother, if not father, that made Ravish Kumar what he is today? Possibly yes. Can’t rule that out. Looking at how other garbage made it to the channel I don’t see any good reason to make Ravish Kumar’s job with NDTV an exception. There aren’t any grounds that RK showcased to even think if his could be actually an exception. Like most, he is mediocre too and not to mention, abjectly biased against anything related to BJP.

    Barkha Dutt – Saved the best for the last. By the way she has a sister named Bahar Dutt, working in News 18 media. No, she is a nice girl, unlike Barkha. How Barkha made it to NDTV? First – she had a long association with Pranoy Roy, even before NDTV came out with their own channels. Second – Pranoy Roy was a very good friend of her mother Prabha Dutt, a journalist herself. Here instead of an influential father, it was a friendly mother who seems to have done the trick. Poor father was busy working for Air-India and was far from influencing anyone. She got into NDTV purely because of mother’s friendship with PR. This was even elaborated by Vinod Mehta in his book Lucknow Boy. Prabha Dutt had requested PR to take her daughter as an intern in NDTV and try out her journalistic learning. What a mistake that was, I swear. Who knew she would become the worst journalist and the most dubious in the lot. Undoubtedly she is the worst news trader of India and would remain at the pinnacle for years to come?

    I could have go on and on. Each one of them, from Gargi Rawat to Sunetra Choudhery; from Vishnu Shom to Sanjay Pinto with Monidipa Banarjee tucked somewhere in-between, all have an envious and similar background. They all were close to people in power. By the way I am not saying these celebrity journalists made their way simply by virtue of having a powerful father or a family member. There could be other reasons. No, other reason/s isn't their talent. As I said, they aren’t bright and it is a foregone conclusion. The other reason/s could be anything else but talent. They are a bunch of talentless people who would even struggle to get a peon’s job on their own, and this is a fact. Almost all those who made it to NDTV at the beginning have similar family background. Even the Arnav Goswami of the world isn’t any different. He had a very powerful grandfather, who in fact was a strong state leader of BJP. So many similarities can’t be a co-incidence. It never was. And knowing NDTV and what they were engaged with all this while, I am quite certain they were not airing news, not even by any stretch of imagination. On the same breath, these journalists weren’t doing journalism either. They simply are incapable of journalistic work. They never were aware what real journalists do. All the more reason I would refute the concept of co-incidence in this particular case.

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