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Journalistic freedom is not all black and white---R Jagannathan

07-December-2015
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Journalistic freedom is not all black and white---R Jagannathan

As noted journalist R Jagannathan or Jaggi as he is known in journalistic circles, makes his next move by joining the independent media venture- Swarajya as its Editorial Director, the former Editor-In-Chief of all Network-18 publications in an interview with OpIndia.com has for the first time spoken about the controversy regarding his article regarding a top minister which was published and subsequently removed during his stint with Firstpost.

Jaggi has had his fair share of controversies and one was during his days with Firstpost when his article criticizing Finance Minister Arun Jaitley went missing from the online publication. In his latest interview, Jaggi shares his version of the story regarding this controversy. “This is what happened: At one point, two senior representatives of the shareholders met me and said that some of my views were being interpreted as part of the shareholders’ agenda. The Jaitley article in particular, since it went under my byline, was being seen by the powers-that-be as instigated by the shareholder in order to pressure the government on some issues. Since this was manifestly not the case, and the shareholder was being wrongly blamed for something they did not do, I thought I would compromise and pull my article down and instead put it on my personal blog,” he explains.

Jaggi also shares his views on ‘freedom of press’ and adds, “Regarding freedom and interference, the fact is no editor in the country is totally free to write what he wants all the time. We do have to make judgment calls on when to compromise and when not to, especially in an era where politicians and businessmen own large chunks of media, and additionally also deliver lots of ad revenues. The only issue is whether the compromise is of a magnitude where it impacts your credibility.”

The motto of this new media venture reads---“Read India Right”.  Throwing more light about the vision of Swarajya, he adds, “Unlike the Lutyens media, we see no reason to be inimical to Indic (especially Hindu) values. In the area of economics, we want to champion market-oriented ideas. We want to provide a counter-point to the so-called Left-liberal consensus, which is essentially about cronyism in the name of the poor. Left is not left, and liberal is not liberal in India.”

It must be mentioned that Jaggi joined the independent media start-up Swarjya on 1st December. 

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