India Today Terminates Journalist For Refusing To Remove Tweet On ‘Fake News’
February 14th, 2018
The India Today group has terminated the employment of Angshukanta Chakraborty, who served as a political editor of DailyO, a website under India Today group over her tweet on fake news. She was terminated after her refusal to remove her tweet.
“Promoters turning a blind eye to hate-mongering, fake news spreading news anchors, editors, reporters and writers, or hiring them in the first place, must be tried in courts as hate speech enablers-profiteers. Must be boycotted socially by secular politicians & Industrialists,” she had tweeted on February 4.
Promoters turning a blind eye to hate-mongering, fake news spreading news anchors, editors, reporters and writers, or hiring them in the first place, must be tried in courts as hate speech enablers-profiteers. Must be boycotted socially by secular politicians & Industrialists.
— Angiography (@angshukanta) February 4, 2018
Chakrabarty told Scroll that she didn’t feel guilty and did not want to resign. “I decided I won’t resign, and I should not own up to any guilt, I don’t think I’m guilty,” Chakrabarty told Scroll. She added that the tweet was not targeted at any particular organization. “It was not directed at any organisation or any individual. It was a generalised statement and I stand by it. It didn’t get many RTs or anything and it wasn’t even my pinned tweet, yet I got a call asking me to delete it because management was unhappy,” she told Scroll.
She claimed that her tweet did not breach the company guidelines. After her tweet, Chakrabarty was given three options- to delete the tweet, resign or immediate termination, as reported by The Wire.
India Today and fake news
There were instances where organizations under India Today group circulated fake news. After Kasganj violence, Mail Today editor Abhijit Majumder tweeted a fake news. When severe criticisms were drawn at him, he deleted the post.
In May last year, Aaj Tak reported that Pakistan posts were destroyed by the Indian Army and several Pakistan soldiers were killed. The news was fake. After the introduction of demonetisation, Aaj Tak reported that the new 2000 note contained inbuilt nanochip to communicate with a satellite. That too was fake news.
India Today’s response
As a reaction to the incident, India Today told The Wire that Chakravorty’s service was terminated due to the breach of conduct. “The India Today Group prides itself on being the gold standard of credible journalism. Our Code of Conduct is sacrosanct across all our mediums, including social media. Actions contrary to our editorial ethos have no place in our organisation. As was done in this case, the concerned employee is counselled multiple times prior to taking any action. The violation is also investigated by an internal panel and taken to logical conclusion. This individual case, being presented in any other manner, is mala fide and should be understood as such,” they informed The Wire.
Many social media users have turned against India Today Group, extending their support to Angshukanta Chakraborty.
— Parmesh Shahani (@parmeshs) February 14, 2018
Let's put pressure on all journalists associated with IndiaToday to resign in protest. They cannot single out a journalist for tweeting something as obvious as this 👇🏼#ProtectIndianJournalism#IStandWithAngshukantahttps://t.co/FpdZeqiSh9
— Jahanpanah (@BluPlaneter) February 14, 2018