Friday, November 9, 2007

Nitin's Rightful Criticism Of Tehelka

Nitin criticizes Tehelka for publishing a rather shaky article questioning Gujarat’s economic success. Gaurav, in turn, criticizes Nitin for shooting the messenger. I think Gaurav is way off base. Nitin accomplished two things by writing what he did: first, he refuted the claims made by the article and, second, he criticizes Tehelka for its shoddy, gotcha-journalism practices.

Newspapers are supposed to be contrarian by nature, to question prevailing views, and to cast doubts on utterances by governments and public officials. I do not question Tehelka’s right to doubt the Gujarat government's claims, but I do question its methods, which seems to be driven by economic (to sell more magazines and get more hits on its web site), and a hidden political agenda (most newspapers and magazines India are left-wing) against the BJP-led Gujarat government.

Integrity and credibility are stock and trade of the journalism business, and Tehelka seems to be losing on this score.