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Sunday, Oct 24, 2021
Outlook.com

Sting Mantras

For the ends-always-justify-the-means school of journalism, it was a coming of age.

Sting Mantras
Jitender Gupta
Sting Mantras
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
When Tehelka exhibited its documentary film on cricket match-fixing in May 2000, its impact was a trifle muted as it had acted in concert with Manoj Prabhakar, also accused of financial irregularities. Few could have anticipated that nine months later, the same methods—secret video-taping of individuals—would be deployed to expose corruption in the defence services, and that too with such devastating impact on the polity. The episode not only influenced the course of Indian politics but also left an indelible mark on the country's media. It signified a watershed of sorts, the coming of age of the ends-always-justify-the-means school of journalism. Media professionals often think they are paid to be cynical. The Tehelka episode was the ultimate in cynical journalism. Even the hiring of whores was not meant to divert attention from the exalted goal of the sting operation—an exercise meant not only to unearth corruption in high places but also to bring to book those compromising the security of the nation for little more than a bottle of Blue Label whisky or a fancy gold...
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