We are aware of the mass exodus of prominent journalists recently. It started with Rajdeep Sardesai and Sagrika Ghosh retiring from Network-18. There have been speculated stories about why Rajdeep quit IBN. The only plausible story was Mukesh Ambani getting upset with IBN team. It was during the general elections, when Arvind Kejriwal was seen blabbering against big business houses on prime news channels. Kejriwal also targeted Reliance, and Mukesh Ambani, who had a small stake in IBN was visibly upset.
Rajdeep was undeterred in his relentless reporting on the matter. This is when Mukesh Ambani decided to buy IBN 18. Now, every channel was reporting on Arvind Kejriwal’s targeted rants, but IBN was a step ahead in giving too much coverage on the issue.
According to the Hindu, around the time the Narendra Modi government came to power, Reliance Industries took total control of Network18. Several heads rolled. Founder-Managing Director Raghav Bahl was the first to go, CEO B Saikumar moved on, as did most of the top deck in the operations of the company. Many went even before the move was formalised, but other than Bahl, the biggest exit was that of Rajdeep Sardesai.
Now, they were no longer free to support Congress. Barkha Dutt seems to have a good equation with Raghav Bahl. There was speculation earlier also, in 2014, that she is planning to join as the Editor-in-Chief of CNN-IBN, post the resignation of Sagarika Ghose, deputy editor of the channel. However, that was denied by Barkha Dutt.
In the biggest media industry takeover, Reliance Industries Ltd took complete control of Network 18 group, at a prime cost of Rs 4,000 crore. The company was founded by Raghav Bahl in 1993.
If you are still wondering about what is the Barkha connect here, please note that Quint is the digital venture of Raghav Bahl. Since Barkha Dutt has partnered with Quint, for UP elections, let us understand a bit about what to expect next from this digital media partnership.
Now read Bloomberg’s reporting on Demonetization
Demonetization put India in a hole. Modi should stop digging.
Another Blow for Modi? India Validates 82% of ‘Cash Ban’ Notes
India’s Central Bank Must Save Itself
India’s $1 Trillion Hidden Economy Has Stalled
Cash ban cuts supply chains in Varanasi, Modi’s political base
India’s Great Rupee Fail
Message to Modi: Do No More Harm
At the same time, IBN 18 continues to be fair in its judgment on demonetization or issues highlighting the present government. If you do a Google search, you will quickly note that IBN18 is neutral on most matters.
In addition, media veterans like Barkha Dutt have a safe resort in digital media. One, it is believed to be less influential, and second, we know PM Modi is very internet-savvy. Where else could media stalwarts attack PM Modi’s ideologies, when the opposition leaders have no chance in the social media space? So, has Barkha Dutt already fired? Read her latest Colum in HT, demystifying the alliance between Rahul Gandhi and Akhilesh Yadav. Her end note in the article is- Rahul Gandhi has matured as a politician.
Another interesting story by Dr Gaurav Pradhan
Tweets from Official public page of Dr Gaurav Pradhan, one of the most respected ICT and Management professional globally.
He started CNN-IBN and got 700cr Mukesh Ambani for exit. But demonisation lost some 100s cr he kept as cash.
That is why @TheQuint daily attacked @narendramodi on #DeMonetisation and started daily deaths chart. Mukesh money @Raghav_Bahl now…..bought @Bloomberg India from Anil Ambani. He also bought 30% stake for Rs. 6 Cr in Chitra Subramanian’s website News Minute