Was Rajdeep serious about what he said during his Dileep Padgaonkar memorial lecture?

Does Rajdeep Sardesai follow Dileep Padgaonkar’s principals? Here’s the answer.

On November 27, 2017, India Today Group’s Consulting Editor-Rajdeep Sardesai delivered the first Dileep Padgaonkar memorial lecture at Pune’s Symbiosis Vishwabhavan Auditorium.

During this interaction, Sardesai shared some interesting trivia about how the first phase of his career as a journalist blossomed under the leadership of Dileep Padgaonkar at Times of India, Mumbai. He pointed out that there was a brotherhood among journalists even if they worked as each other’s rivals on the field.

Daily journalism has turned into an anti-national versus national narrative and politicians are powerful enough to remove journalists from their jobs, said Rajdeep. While discussing high-decibel debates, the consulting editor criticized Arnab Goswami, without naming him.

Social media has changed the way individuals consume news, and it has reduced the nuisance value of television journalists who used to spread opinion pieces in the name of ‘news’ during the 90s. Now, journalists from pre-mobile age feel frustrated as they do not have any control over news anymore.

This frustration was visible in Rajdeep’s speech when he spoke about social media. On one side, Sardesai appreciated social media but shared his displeasure about how these sites are used for spreading the inaccurate news.

Rajdeep also highlighted that Dileep Padgaonkar often advised journalists to keep their personal opinion away from news pages.

No doubt, the principals that Padgaonkar urged his juniors to follow are the excellent ones and the very basis of journalism ethics. But the question is- does Rajdeep Sardesai follow the principals laid down by Padgaonkar, the legendary man who changed the game’s rules?

Practice what you preach:

It’s not rocket science; anyone who follows Rajdeep Sardesai’s work would be able to point out that his commentary is often anti-BJP. A lot has already been debated about the disconnect between what the celebrity journalist says about work ethics and how he acts.

Video of his encounter with NRIs showed his provocation and hatred towards the prime minister.  He manages to rake up Gujarat riots issue almost every week during his show.  Political analysts criticize him for his bias while reporting news and going selectively soft on friends.

As mentioned by senior journalist, Professor Madhu Kishwar in one of her speeches, even Prime Minister Narendra Modi had once criticized Sardesai for his attempt to instigate violence with incorrect reporting after Gujarat riots.

While working as editor-in-chief at CNN-IBN, Rajdeep delayed the release of cash-for-vote sting footage, according to several prominent BJP leaders. Perhaps, he was not left with any other option besides releasing footage as BJP leaders presented the cash involved in the scam directly to the parliament.

The celebrity journalist also maintained silence when his colleague from India Today group, Rohit Sardana was recently threatened and an FIR was filed against him. Sardana had shared his opinion that movies should be made about Muslim and Christian Gods. But Sardesai did not come out and protest in support of Sardana and free speech, as he did for other leftist journalists and filmmakers.

Anyway, hope Mr. Sardesai analyzes his Pune speech and starts practicing what he preaches.