NL Hafta


Weekly wrap of events of the week peppered with context, commentary and opinion by a superstar panel. Click here to support Newslaundry: See for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 294: Covid-19, Sudarshan TV, and the Delhi riots investigation
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This week on NL Hafta, Newslaundry’s Abhinandan Sekhri and Raman Kirpal are joined by Abantika Ghosh, journalist with ThePrint and Revati Laul, an independent journalist and author of The Anatomy of Hate.The discussion begins with the current situation of Covid-19 in India—from the sero surveys to the possibility of a vaccine in a few months and if it will even be reliable. Abantika pointing towards the failure of the lockdown says,“The claim that lockdown saved lives is not accurate.” The panel talks about people’s growing negligence towards the pandemic. Revati talks about the Covid situation in her neighbourhood stressing on the low number of tests. The panel then moves on to Sudarshan TV’s problematic show, ‘UPSC Jihad.’ They discuss the Supreme Court’s intervention in the matter and the reasons why hate-ridden shows are not censored by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry and National Broadcasters Association. The panel, highlighting how an atmosphere of hate has been created over the last few years, also explains how this is just not a media-related issue. Revati weighs in saying, “We have to agree that hate is the most contagious thing and it is much easier for the media to sell hate.”The conversation finally switches to the arrest of Umar Khalid and the 17,000-page chargesheet filed by the Delhi Police in the Delhi riots case. Raman believes the police have already “built a narrative” and it is on the basis of this very conspiracy theory that they are investigating the Delhi riots.  All this and more, only on this week’s NL Hafta. Tune in!Timecodes 00:00 - Introduction and headlines09:06 - Mishandling of Covid data and vaccine skepticism26:01 - Subscriber letters30:28 - Suresh Chavhanke's bigoted show, media regulation, and politics of hate59:49 - Subscriber Letters01:03:54 - Umar Khalid's arrest and the 17,000 page Delhi riots chargesheet01:12:54 - Subscriber letters01:22:46 - RecommendationsRecommendationsAbantika GhoshFactfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World – and Why Things Are Better Than You ThinkRevati LaulIndia in the Persianate AgeRaman KirpalThe Social Dilemma Abhinandan SekhriWaste LandNearly seven months after Delhi violence, a continuing attempt to target dissenting voices See for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 293: The path to economic recovery, Kangana Ranaut’s office demolition, and print vs TV news media
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This week on NL Hafta, Newslaundry’s Abhinandan Sekhri, Anand Vardhan, Manisha Pande, and Raman Kirpal are joined by M. K. Venu, founding editor of The Wire to discuss the recession, the state of the media, and everything that happened this week.The panel discusses and debates the possible paths of India’s economic recovery, whether the government’s approach to the lockdown made things worse, and why India has experienced greater negative impacts due to the coronavirus than other global economic powerhouses. Venu gives insight into the predicaments of the Indian worker, and says, “In India, we claim to be socialist, but we are the harshest capitalist state that can ever be.”Venu also weighs in on the “sensationalist end of broadcast media,” The Wire’s approach to journalism, and how the distribution of corporate spending on advertising is changing rapidly. They also discuss the paradigm shift in which news organisations influence, and which ones are influenced. On the prevailing respectability of the print media, Anand observes, “You don’t see people saying, ‘Ye maine iss channel pe dekha tha’ with the confidence with which they cite the printed word.”The panel also discusses a possible future constitutional crisis arising from the Central and Maharashtra governments’ uses of state machinery for personal gain, lawfully or unlawfully, in the Sushant Singh Rajput-Rhea Chakraborty-Kangana Ranaut case.Also on this edition of NL Hafta: the significance of the bad-faith allegations against Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair, the imprudent Republic reporters, and highlights from the run-up to the upcoming elections in Bihar.All this and more, only on this week’s NL Hafta. Tune in!Timecodes00:00 - Introduction & Headlines05:41 - Economy of India & Negative GDP Growth35:39 - Print Vs TV News Media55:09 - Subscribers Mails1:05:36 - Subscribers Mails1:10:49 - Kangana Ranaut’s office demolition and destroying institutions1:28:39 -  Role of Media in India1:39:57 -  Subscriber Mails1:46:55 - Bihar Elections1:49:35 -  RecommendationsRecommendationsM. K. VenuLaunching vicious campaign against judges in the event of an adverse verdict threatens judiciary’s independence Raman Kirpal‘It’s not a newsroom, it’s a durbar’: Inside the Republic of Arnab GoswamiInside the online cult of #JusticeforSSRThe Modi regime couldn’t capture PTI, so it launched PBNS. How is the enterprise going?India’s 49 million Covid tests hide more than they revealManisha Pande‘It’s not a newsroom, it’s a durbar’: Inside the Republic of Arnab GoswamiWhat the moral lessons for journalists quitting Republic TV miss outInside the online cult of #JusticeforSSRJournalists Aren’t the Enemy of the People. But We’re Not Your Friends.Anand VardhanThe India Way: Strategies for an Uncertain WorldAbhinandan SekhriPlanet Money podcast episode: The Murderer, The Boy King, And The Invention Of Modern Finance See for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 292: Meghalaya’s maternal and neonatal mortality crisis, Pranab Mukherjee, and India’s GDP
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On this week’s episode of NL Hafta, Newslaundry’s Abhinandan Sekhri, Manisha Pande and Mehraj D Lone are joined by Patricia Mukhim, editor of Shillong Times.Patricia opens the conversation by providing insight into Meghalaya’s maternal and neonatal mortality crisis. She speaks about her personal experiences in working to create awareness about contraception, reproductive rights, and family planning in rural parts of the state, and the “vicious cycle” of malnutrition that is one of the principal causes of this problem.On the death of Pranab Mukherjee, the panelists reflect on their experiences of reporting on and about the former president. Abhinandan recalls being invited to Mukherjee’s garden for an interview, while Patricia describes him as “the only Delhi politician who really understood the Northeast”.The panel then discusses last week’s pellet firing by policemen on a Muharram procession in Srinagar. Mehraj says, “Pellet guns are used for hunting. In Kashmir, they’re being used on people...That’s been the idea all along — to subjugate the population, to reduce them, to dehumanise them.” The conversation also spans the recent decision to end the 131-year-old status of Urdu as the sole official language in Jammu and Kashmir by adding four others, and why this move is facing opposition.Also in this week’s edition of NL Hafta: Trump’s “shocking” speech in Kenosha, breaking down India’s GDP slump, the news media’s response to the economic fallout, and Facebook’s “interrogation” in Parliament.All this and more, only on this week’s NL Hafta. Tune in!Timecodes00:00 - Introduction and Headlines07:45 - Maternity and infant deaths in Meghalaya21:55 - Power of media in Northeast India, its stand on the Citizenship Amendment Act28:24 - Announcements and subscriber letters40:27 - Pranab Mukherjee’s death and legacy54:44:05 - Subscriber letters01:02:14 - Domicile laws in Jammu and Kashmir, the Official Languages Bill 202001:10:43 - Subscriber letters01:43:25 - India's GDP and how the media covered it1:53:49 - RecommendationsRecommendationsMehrajOperation Condor: the illegal state network that terrorised South AmericaManishaThe impeachment trial didn't change any minds. Here's why.What makes Modi's BJP invincible? The cynicism that India is deadAbhinandanCaste Matters See for privacy and opt-out information.

Hafta 291: Covid vaccine and community transmission, Bloomsbury India, and the NEET-JEE exam row
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This week’s episode of NL Hafta features an all-star panel of Newslaundry’s Abhinandan Sekhri, Anand Vardhan, Manisha Pande, Mehraj D Lone, and Raman Kirpal. They are joined by Banjot Kaur, health and public policy correspondent for Down To Earth magazine.The conversation begins with a round-up of Covid developments from the past weeks, including progress being made in India and abroad towards the production of a suitable vaccine. Banjot addresses common misconceptions about vaccine implementation, serological surveys, and herd immunity, noting that even after a vaccine becomes available, the possibility of life returning to normal is “a long shot”, and that we must be prepared for “huge changes in our daily lives” in the long run. The panel also talks about the accuracy of case numbers across the country, some states’ over-reliance on rapid antigen detection tests, and the government’s “foolhardy” denial of the existence of community transmission.Another topic of discussion is the government’s decision to allow the JEE and NEET exams to take place as scheduled in September, and the impact this might have on the spread of Covid across India. Anand summarises the academic implications of canceling the exam cycle and having a “zero year”, while Banjot gives insight on the “fear of a super-spreading event” occurring, transportation and access issues for students and states, and how other countries have dealt with similar dilemmas.On Bloomsbury India cancelling the publication of Delhi Riots 2020: The Untold Story, Raman contends that “the book was complete propaganda...legitimising and institutionalising violence against one particular community.” Anand says Bloomsbury India pulling the book resulted in the authors benefitting from the Streisand effect and a newfound sense of victimhood. The panel also debates issues arising from a lack of clarity in liberal definitions of free speech and justice that may have exacerbated this incident.All this and more, only on this week’s NL Hafta. Tune in!Timecodes:0:00 - Headlines05:51 - Covid In India, vaccines, herd immunity25:24 - JEE-NEET row56:04 - Bihar floods and the run-up to their state election01:08:24 - The public outrage around Bloomsbury India and the Delhi riots book 01:26:28 - Subscriber letters on Bloomsbury India, secularism, period leave, and more01:41:16 - RecommendationsRecommendationsBanjotPandemic: How to Prevent an OutbreakAnandMaking Sense Of Indian Democracy: Theory as Practice by Yogendra YadavThe urban migrant and the ‘ritual’ tug of homeThe Greatest Ode to Lord Ram: Tulsidas's Ramcharitmanas; Selections & Commentaries by Pavan K. VarmaRaman'I have waited 11 years': Covid delays the urban Indian's dream to own a homeMehrajThe Revolt of the Upper CastesChristophe Jaffrelot writes: If Modi sealed the fate of quota politics, the “Mandal moment” was over many years earlierWhat Yogendra Yadav, Pratap Bhanu Mehta Don't Get About SecularismManishaBarkha Dutt on covering the migrant exodus and falling out with promoters | NL InterviewAbhinandanNBA playoffs to resume after boycott over Jacob Blake police shootingBloomsbury Bends: This is what an ideological victory should look likeRepublic National Convention Speeches See for privacy and opt-out information.

NL Hafta Ep.2aHafta 290: Facebook’s influence and control, Wall Street Journal on Ankhi Das, and Gunjan Saxena90
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This week on NL Hafta, Newslaundry’s Abhinandan Sekhri, Manisha Pande, and Mehraj D Lone are joined by Pratik Sinha, founder of Alt News.First up, the panel discusses the Wall Street Journal report on political partisanship within Facebook India. The panelists talk about Facebook’s “special relationship” with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, how news dissemination has changed over the past decade, and whether social media should be considered a public service.Manisha reflects on Facebook’s influence on international affairs and its responsibility in ensuring impartiality in non-Western countries. “We need to judge them for at least the façade of the global company they portray themselves to be,” she says.In the context of Australia ordering social media sites to share news advertising revenue with traditional media organisations, Pratik notes that Facebook has “overarching control over internet infrastructure...and very little transparency and accountability”. He highlights the need for independent media organisations to come together to reduce their dependence on Facebook and Google.The conversation also spans new developments in the investigation into actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death, lawyer Prashant Bhushan’s “ridiculous” sentencing hearing for being ruled guilty of contempt of court, and the controversy surrounding the release of Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl.All this and more, only on this week’s NL Hafta. Tune in!Timecodes:0:00: Headlines08:46: Facebook being a platform for hate in India39:01: Subscriber letters, rumours around SSR’s death, transparency at Newslaundry, liberalism in Islam, secularism01:18:22: Prashant Bhushan and the Supreme Court01:22:27: Gunjan Saxena and the IAF's reaction01:30:11: On making Bengaluru rioters pay for damage01:33:01: Subscriber letters01:44:17: RecommendationsRecommendations:PratikTo read up on surveillance capitalismMehrajKamala Harris Tells Big Lie: That 2012 Mortgage Settlement Was a Good Deal for HomeownersManishaWhere are those 'toxic Bihari families' being blamed for reactions to Sushant Rajput's death?AbhinandanHow The Pandemic Is Making The Gender Pay Gap WorseHow Facebook Is Failing Myanmar Again | Time See for privacy and opt-out information.