No one was aware of the operation of Cobrapost in Press Club 136 till 3 pm on Monday afternoon. Since Cobrapost is known for its sensational reporting, the visiting public realized that it would be a serious subject.
Investigative journalist Anirudh Bahl said that Cobrapost is about to show a video of a major sting operation conducted on the relationship between media and Hindutva. Investigative journalist Pushp Sharma has done this sting for months. These include 17 media institutions including India TV, Dainik Jagran, Scoopwhoop, Swatantra Bharat, Punjab Kesari, UNI. Most of them agreed to run the news, editorial and advertorial in favor of Hindutva in exchange for money. Newslaundry has also taken their feedback from the institutions involved in the sting.
Investigative journalist Pushp Sharma carried out this sting operation by assuming the form of Acharya Atal, Mahant Bhagwat Geeta Prachar Samiti, Ujjain. This operation was to be in three phases. Running content related to Hindutva agenda in the first phase. In the second phase, to discredit the opposition leaders, ridicule them and in the third phase to advance the hardcore Hindu leaders like Mohan Bhagwat, Uma Bharti, Vinay Katiyar etc. So that communalism can be promoted and voters can be united in favor of a particular political party. Acharya Atal also advised media institutions to run such content on their cross platforms (eg print, electronic, radio, digital portal and social media).
Some of whom also went to Pushp Sharma, some straight, some turned around and got ready for it. Some of them expressed a desire for cash payment so that they can avoid things like GST while paying by check. Some agreed to run the advertorial. Some agreed to represent the movement of farmers and laborers as Maoists.
Pushp talked to two officials of India TV. Sudipto Chaudhary, President (Sales), India TV, assured Acharya Atalji (journalist Pushp Sharma). On the other hand, Vice President Jitendra Kumar gave a new information to Acharya, stating that, in India TV’s India Dialogue, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had claimed that the BJP was winning the Lok Sabha by-election. But the BJP lost in the by-election. That is why we did not air it on air. Meltdown that interview, did not show much on the channel. ”
When Sudipto Chaudhary sought his response from the newslaundry, he said, “Acharya Atal’s proposal was not accepted by the company. Both India TV’s editorial and legal teams rejected Acharya ji’s proposal.”
In the video of Cobrapost, Dainik Jagran’s Area Manager (Bihar-Jharkhand-Odisha) Sanjay Pratap Singh told Pushp Sharma aka Acharyaji that his newspaper was ‘branded for Hindutva’. Sanjay agreed to give Hindutva propaganda material a place in advertorial and editorial so that it can be presented by making it credible among people. Singh said, “Wherever perception building is concerned, we are with you.” Sanjay even further convinced Acharyaji to take him into confidence that, personally, I have so many people in Bengal, Gents, Ladies in every firm Who do all kinds of work, all kinds of things.
On this, Acharya asked that every kind of meaning? Sanjay said, “Like you would say, if you have to take data by sleeping with someone, you will do it.” “Just want money,” Sanjay said.
“If someone is to stand in the sun for two days and watch him, he will also do it.”
“If anything is to be removed from bureaucracy?”, Acharya asked.
“If anything is to be removed from bureaucracy, where is the bureaucrat moving, where is he getting up, where is he sitting, where is he eating, who is he meeting.”
“Sort of Spying?”
In relation to running provocative content, Sanjay said, “Newspaper is such a thing, that wherever and where they speak peacefully, they will reach everywhere.” In addition, he asked Acharyaji to spread provocative content where the number of Muslims is less.
Newslaundry has sent an email to Jagran’s editor-in-chief Sanjay Gupta. They have not given any answer so far. The story will be updated when they respond. However, in a statement to the Indian Express, Gupta denied that Cobrapost’s sting was credible. “Sanjay Pratap is claiming more than his capacity and if these allegations are proved then strict action will be taken against him,” Sanjay Gupta said.
Shri Adhikari Brothers
Kailashnath Adhikari, Managing Director, Sri Adhikari Brothers Television Network, Mumbai also talked to Acharya to run the entire agenda.
The reporter demanded from them that they try to create an atmosphere of Hindutva for the Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka assembly elections and 2019 general elections on TV.
Atul Aggarwal, the editor-in-chief of the Hindi news TV channel, said on Varun Gandhi’s sex tape, “Zee Guru ji, mazaa aaja jaane, pat dhega … ko”. He agreed to run soft Hindutva content with the money. Have become.
Atul Aggarwal tells Acharyaji on the contrary that- “He has spoken to Anirudh Bahl, he wants to close Cobrapost.”
We got the number of Atul Aggarwal from the Hindi news office. Atul asked for half an hour from this reporter. When Atul was called again after about an hour
He said that he is out with the family and will soon give his response on the phone.
Amit Tyagi, Senior Sales Head, Samachar Plus, spoke of taking payments from cash and checks in the ratio of 60-40. Umesh Kumar, CEO of News Plus, told Newslaundry that, “Sting makers were fools. We are not responsible for what the sales people say. If our reporter or editor had made such a claim, we would have taken responsibility. The sales team does not decide the content. ”
Sattvik Mishra, the founder of Scoopwhoop, first refused Acharyaji. But later Satvik called him and said that he runs Bhagwad Geeta and soft Hindutva in Hindi section and he also runs. Satvik assured Acharyaji that ScoopWoop could work in a ‘smart’ way. They can run it in their spiritual segment.
Satwik has reacted to the tweeter after the sting surfaced.
Sadhana Prime News
Director of Sadhana Prime News, Alok Bhatt (Lucknow) agreed to disseminate the news to demoralize some selected leaders of BJP and its alliance partners (Anupriya Patel, Upendra Kushwaha etc.).
We tried to get Alok Bhatt’s number from the office of Sadhana News but he disconnected the phone saying that Alok’s number was not there.
UNI’s Lucknow bureau chief Narendra Kumar Srivastava was also ready to run the Hindutva agenda by taking money in the sting. Speaking to Newslaundry, he said, “I met the reporter two-and-a-half months ago. The meeting was related to advertising. ”When Srivastava was asked if UNI was a news agency, could he take an advertisement. He said, “There was talk about running advertisements on the website.”
Business executive Sunil Kesari of Punjab Kesari also agreed to print content related to Hindutva in the sting.
We tried to contact Sunil Sharma at the Chandigarh office in Punjab Kesari. But he could not be contacted. Sunil agreed to drop or tone down the news.
The editor and business head of Independent India Sanjay Singh Srivastava could not be contacted on the number on the website. We have tried to contact them over email. Story will be updated as soon as the answer comes.
Pradeep Guha, CEO of 9x Media told Newslaundry that he is out of the country.
Let us tell you that Dainik Jagran, Amar Ujala and Punjab Kesari are the best-selling newspapers in the Hindi belt. At the same time, India TV is generally in the top five in the TRP rating. UNI is the reputed news agency of the country which gives news in Hindi, English and Urdu.
Media stance on Cobrapost expose
Most parts of the media kept a distance on the sting video of Cobrapost. No Hindi newspaper thought it necessary to print it. At the same time, there is a discussion of the sting of Cobrapost in the online portals of Indian Express and The Hindu in English newspapers. One possible reason for this silence is the second part of Cobrapost’s sting, which is to be released soon.