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Sambhar Mafia - Cooked To Kill!

Friday, September 02, 2005

Aniruddha Bahal talk on Investigative Journalism in India

I had the opportunity of attending a talk by Aniruddha Bahal on Tuesday. This event was part of the Singapore Writers Festival, which is currently underway. I have been a reader of Outlook ever since it was launched in the mid 90’s and hence have closely followed the articles written by Aniruddha Bahal.

(Pic Courtesy – Akshay)
For a larger size image click

Aniruddha Bahal spoke about the way he went about exposing the Defence Establishment in India. The turnout was pretty small. I don’t know whether it has to do with the publicity or the nature of the topic. I wasn’t aware that Aniruddha Bahal had moved out of Tehelka. At one point he had as much as 20 bodyguards as he had some life threats.

At a broader level, he felt that the Mainstream Media is not willing to touch Investigative Journalism as it doesn’t fit into their commercial and business interests. It is the niche investigative magazines like Tehelka that are pursuing this aggressively. Indian Express, Tehelka and Outlook (to some extent) have been the only guys who have pursued investigative journalism in its true form. Not sure whether Indian Express really benefited from it commercially. Other MSM folks have shied away from this domain so that they can be in the good books of the establishment. According to Bahal, some of the MSM doesn’t even have dedicated teams looking at some of these stories. They just work on day-to-day stories.

Aniruddha Bahal has authored a book as well. He is currently working on his second book. He says that authoring such books gives him the financial freedom to pursue other things. Bahal also promised to put more life into his website. It is currently serving as a news aggregator.

Preetam Rai has a podcast of the whole talk. Do listen to it if you have the time and the inclination.

Some more blogging related topics will be discussed at the SWF over the weekend. Cory Doctorow of Boing Boing will also be part of some of these sessions.


  • hey Kaps...i heard abt Anirudha Bahal's book- Bunker 13, too. Was nvr an avid reader of Outlook, xcpt for occasionally glancing thro it; bt interesting read :)

    By Blogger viji, at 5:57 PM  

  • Anirudh left Tehelka?? That's news to me!! I am a subscriber of their weekly newspaper Tehelka and it's one of the best I've ever read in the Indian mainstream media...

    Did u ask anything about Tehelka's alleged invovled with the current ruling party in bringing up the Bangaru Laxman issue?

    By Blogger Peak Day Blues, at 1:43 AM  

  • Yep, investigative journalism is very rare in our country. The only ones I have heard about has been from Tehelka.

    By Blogger Libu, at 3:12 AM  

  • @Viji,
    I came to know about the book only now.

    Since I have not been following Tehelka recently, I was not aware of this development


    By Blogger Kaps, at 12:21 AM  

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