Since its inception in May 2017, Republic T.V. has found itself in troubled waters more often than not. Social activists, as well as politicians, have orchestrated how the channel was not being able to perform its role as a medium of ethical journalism in full capacity.
On 12th September when the father of deceased seven-year-old Pradhuman of Ryan International School, Varun Thakur was giving an Interview live from his home to Times Now, the unscrupulous behavior of a member of Republic T.V. named Santoshi demonstrated how the channel would resort to inappropriate and insensitive means to achieve their target.
In a short 10-minute interview which Varun Thakur was giving for Times Now, there were five instances where a hand can be seen trying to remove the microphone from Thakur’s shirt. But despite the inconvenience, Thakur went on responding to every question which was put to him.
An anonymous employee of Times Now guest coordination desk told Newslaundry that it was initially Thakur’s wife who was invited to come live on air for the broadcast on Times Now. But she declined due to some health inconveniences, the primary reason why Varun Thakur agreed to be a part of the broadcast which aired on 9.p.m. last night. “They were to be with us for the first 15 minutes and then join Republic TV, but when they found out Kailash Satyarthi was to be a part of the debate, Varun’s brother Surjeet said he [Thakur] would like to continue till 9:25 pm.”
— Tehseen Poonawalla (@tehseenp) September 12, 2017
In the video, it is clear that Santoshi has no regard for any sort of decorum or sensitive behavior. Thakur had previously stated that he would like to speak to the media for not more than 2-5 minutes. He appreciates the fact that media is covering the story of his son’s brutal murder and trying their best to bring the family justice. Thakur shows extremely polite and decent behavior in the video repeatedly requesting the members of Republic T.V. to excuse him. But Santoshi showing little regard for any proprietary is seen demanding that Thakur stays back and speaks with her chief, Arnab Goswami on his show.
Journalism in India in recent years has reached a point where there is cut-throat competition. It has become a race. A race for who gets the news first. Exclusive content has become the most desirable property in the world of journalism today. As much as we appreciate what journalists and journalism do for the society, misdemeanor and insensitivity are things which are unacceptable.
We must also understand that reporters like Santoshi, who project inappropriate demeanor and show no sign of empathy, are actually instruments of the institution they work for. This code of conduct of Santoshi is the utter failure of the higher authorities of Republic T.V. They have failed miserably at being the pillar of support, what journalists ideally need to do for people who are in distress like Varun Thakur and his family.