Many of us have dreamt, at some point of our lives, of being a journalist. This is not only because the profession offers an assortment of “real” adventures but also, and most importantly, the profession demands unearthing the truth to the world by fighting against all odds. In fact, in India there have been lots of journalists, who have excelled in the field and paved solid ground for budding journalists. However, due to a few journalists, like the one’s listed below, the profession has of late attracted a lot of controversies. Here’s telling you about fallen journalists of Indian who once made it big, but couldn’t hold it:
3. Barkha Dutt
A television journalist and television reporter, Barkha Dutt started her career with NDTV after attaining a Master’s degree in Mass Communication from Jamia Milia Islamia. However, she shot to an instant fame with her on-spot reporting of the Kargil war, which included an interview with Captain Vikram Batra
. In fact this reporting brought her much accolades and fame which included even the Padmashree Award among others. However, this fairy tale rise of Barkha Dutt did attract numerous controversies as well.
In a well known book, Barkha Dutt was described as a “controversial” and “pro Sonia Gandhi” journalist. Barkha’s well known description of the Gujrathis as “traditionally effete people” goes on to validate her “pro Sonia” image. Post this, the infamous Radia Tape Controversy proved to be another lag in her flourishing career. Although she has been absolutely vocal about her apologies, still she didn’t manage to regain the status which she once enjoyed. Besides, she is also known to have partnered Rahul Gandhi in the shameful UP elections disaster. All this tells us how a much celebrated and renowned journalist doomed her own fate though she still enjoys the status of being a “brilliant” journalist—brilliant, indeed, ehh?
2. Vir Sanghvi
An Indian print and television journalist and a talk show host, Vir Sanghvi completed his studies in politics, philosophy and economics from the Oxford University. Among the other accolades that the profession ascribed to him, he has also got the record of being the youngest editor in the history of Indian journalism—at the age of 22, he became the editor of India’s first city magazine, India Today. After that, he shuffled between numerous prestigious media houses (national as well as regional), making a stand for himself among the best journalists in India.
In fact, he was one of those few journalists who did every kind of shows—from serious political talk shows to a light-hearted cookery show. However, like Barkha Dutt, he too was accused of being a pro-Sonia Gandhi journalist. He was even recorded calling Narendra Modi “a mass murderer”. Again, like Barkha Dutt, Sanghvi too was connected to the infamous Nira Radia Case, and was reportedly caught saying, “What kind of story do you want?” In simple words, he was just being a pure gambling businessman and nothing else. However, unlike Barkha, he didn’t apologize directly but rather claimed the tapes as insignificant and made-up. Well, Mr. Sanghvi, you only led us to believe in TV news reports, right?
1. Tarun Tejpal
An eminent journalist and one of the flag bearers of the much acclaimed Tehelka.com, Tarun Tejpal is not only a senior journalist but also a novelist, philanthropist and even a publisher! After graduating from Punjab University, Tarun Tejpal started his career in the print medium with The Indian Express. Since then he kept ascending the steps to success, and in 2010, he was rewarded with the prestigious International Press Institute’s India Phase Award. In fact, in 2006, The Guardian termed him
as a “pioneer of a brand of sting journalism which has transformed the Indian media”.
However, things grew sour in November 2013, when Tehelka reported their staff that Tejpal was renouncing the post for 6 months—the reason being a sexual assault case charged against him by a fellow, junior colleague who’s, in fact, Tejpal’s daughter’s friend. The case received intense media coverage and importance, and within few days, we found him behind the bars with the Goa police filing a non-bailable rape warrant against him. Ironically, on February 2013, Tehelka had come out with a detailed report on the increasing sexual violence against women in a special issue of the same.