On speculative journalism, NIA etc

Speculation is not journalism. Chasing cars and hunting public figures like paparazzis would do, is not journalism. "Augmented reality" cannot make up for reality, or cold facts. Masala and speculation might serve your immediate agenda, and might even win you an audience, but in the long run, you are destined to become lessons in journalism schools, on how this profession should not be practised.

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The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has received some major uncritical coverage across Malayalam mainstream news channels this past week, after they took charge of the gold smuggling case. They have been portrayed as the most efficient and trustworthy agency in the whole world. So much so that the lack of knowledge (or feigning ignorance? ) about even the recent history of the agency was alarming. None of them mentioned how the NIA watered down terror accused BJP leader Sadhvi Pragya's case, enabling her bail and clearing the godse-worshipper's path to become an MP, as the first terror-accused to occupy a seat in the Indian Parliament. The NIA also watered down another case against terror-accused Swami Aseemanand, who was "acquitted" in the Samjhauta train bomb blasting case last year.

Today, the NIA has arrested Delhi University associate professor of English, Hany Babu M.T, in connection with the Elgar Parishad case, a fabricated case in which 12 people — all activists, lawyers and academics — have been arrested till now, even as the right wing extremists who organised the actual violence at Bhima Koregaon are all still free. Those arrested till now as part of this fabricated case include academic, intellectual and a member of Ambedkar's family Anand Teltumbde, journalist and activist Gautam Navlakha, Sudhir Dhawale, a writer and Mumbai-based Dalit rights activist, Mahesh Raut, a young activist from Gadchiroli who worked on displacement, Shoma Sen, who had been head of the English literature department at Nagpur University, advocate-activists Arun Ferreiraand Sudha Bharadwaj, writer Varavara Rao, activist Vernon Gonsalves, prisoners’ rights activist Rona Wilson, and Surendra Gadling, a UAPA expert and lawyer from Nagpur. Prof.Hani, who was arrested today, is known for his work on caste oppression and linguistics.