Hindi news channel rubbishes phone hacking charges, claims it just makes up stories

An Indian news channel has rubbished suggestions that it resorts to illegal methods like phone hacking and bribing, to create its news. As the British media finds itself engulfed in charges of disregard to journalistic ethics (link), India TV has said it makes up news, instead of buying them illegally. India TV is a leading Hindi news channel, though a large section of people believe it is more misleading than leading. This comes after another news channel, Bharat TV, a competitor (a competitor at TRPs, obviously no match at stupidity) did a sting operation and showed that India TV reporters tap phone calls and pay vulgar amounts of money to get their news material.

In a press release, the Great Channel named after India’s respectable name, defended itself today, “We are being framed. We haven’t hacked the high-profile phone calls between Shani and Rahu, as claimed by Bharat TV. It is our skill that our news looks so real that people don’t believe its real. Shani never contacted Rahu, or even if he did, we don’t care. We are proud of our storytellers at our Noida office, who work day and night to churn out such news reports out of their mind.”

It was alleged that an India TV journalist, Mangadhant Yadav, had tapped a phone conversation between Rahu and Shani—two planets responsible for muddling the outer portion of his brains. The conversation was supposedly used to influence astrological decisions of Acharya Indu Prakash on his prime time show Acharya ki 99% Guarantee. It was on the basis of the revelations after phone tapping, that Rahul Gandhi hosted the show instead of the Acharya recently, and said, “A terrorist attack will not take place today,” with the crucial disclaimer “99% guarantee”. The disclaimer made his government innocent in the Mumbai blasts.

Just like News of the World, India TV is also an important part of India's culture. But its closure is impossible, as our Information and Broadcasting Ministry believes, despite its outrageous content.

The press release, signed by India TV’s Rajat Sharma—once a respected, but now just a well-known journalist—also said, “Nor did we pay Shashi Tharoor to tweet that the world would end next week. Ending the world takes no more than some writers and wild imagination. The allegations made by the other channel are out of envy for our massive viewership. The undercover journalist who recorded India TV reporters paying Shashi Tharoor didn’t understand that we don’t go to high levels of Twitter. We show low-standard stuff like Himdaanav and volcanoes and hell and demons.”

The allegations by Bharat TV, made last week, had created fears among the masses that India TV could be closed down, à la the 168-year-old British tabloid News of the World, which ceased publication earlier this month. This created tension in households which have moved to India TV after getting bored by the same old comedy everyday on SAB TV, and being unable to generate laughter from anything other than the judges’ self-generated laughter on comedy “circuses”.

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Tanay Sukumar

I founded this website in 2009. I served as Editor-in-Chief from November 2009 to May 2013.
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