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'Just Say Sorry'

T.N. Ninan in the Business Standard:

This is not to defend the indiscriminate reproduction of private conversations. Barkha Dutt, for instance, is entirely right to complain that Open magazine did not seek her comments before reprinting her conversations with Ms Radia; Vir Sanghvi would be right to make the same complaint. Others who are in the tapes and who were displayed on the cover of Outlook that featured the 2G scam, had nothing at all to do with the scam; they too have a valid complaint. And since gossip and the airing of loose judgements in casual conversation are indulged in by almost all journalists, those who are not on the tapes should be saying to themselves: There but for the grace of God…

Nor should one overstate the case against Mr Sanghvi and Ms Dutt, since neither is accused of being on the take. What they seem to have done is fall into the trap that beguiles well-known journalists, of thinking that they are important players rather than observers on behalf of their readers/viewers. It is also important to recognise that no one has accused Ms Dutt of tailoring her telecasts to suit Ms Radia, and she declares that she has not. Mr Sanghvi, who is by far the most gifted journalist of his generation, is in a trickier spot because his writing matches what he promised to do in his taped conversations, and you could be forgiven for raising an eyebrow when he argues now that they were his opinions anyway.

Read on at Business Standard

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