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Friday, Oct 29, 2021
Outlook.com
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'No. Niira Didn't Dictate'

The former editor of Business Today responds to one of the 'Radia Tapes'

'No. Niira Didn't Dictate'
'No. Niira Didn't Dictate'
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Mr Rohit Saran, who was the editor of Business Today when the conversation  in Audio # 2.8 11-188819-0-08-20090618-185014: Radia with Noel Tata took place took place has sent us the following response

Point 1: Radia says: "which is why I shifted the story from the Business World to Business Today because I got the questions I wanted." Does this mean that she dictated the questions to BT?

Rohit's answer: No. Niira didn't dictate Business Today any questions. Here's what happened: BT's interview with Mr Noel Tata (for a cover story that appeared in October 2009) took place over two sessions and was facilitated by Ms Radia's PR firm. Ms Radia's firm wanted BT to restrict the interview only to Noel Tata's management for Trent--the retail chain. We, however, decided to expand the scope of the interview to Noel Tata's likelihood of succeeding Mr Ratan Tata. Our cover story thus was focussed on Noel Tata's probability of heading the Tata group and not on the management of Trent only. When the BT story came out, Ms Radia was "upset" and had a slanging email exchange with us (we have the copies of these emails). She was upset that BT didn't not take the line her firm wanted it to take.

POINT 2: Why does then Radia say that "Business Today has come with a set of questions I wanted."

Rohit's reply: BT had emailed a set of "likely" questions to Mr Noel Tata's office and the person who arranged the interview in Radia's PR firm. This is a standard procedure for most formal interviews with people of the level of Mr Tata. In that email questionaire we didn't mention questions on succession. But we did ask a question on succession when we met Mr Tata in person. We were requested not to carry those answers in print and we didn't. But we still did our own story on the likelihood of Noel Tata taking over from Ratan Tata The proof of it is in the cover story of BT dated Nov 1 2009 (links to the story are given below). So at the time of the tapped phone conversation (that happened before BT issue hit the stands) Ms Radia must have thought that BT is going to ask only those question she wants. However she realised that wasn't the case when out story came out.

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