Newslaundry Podcast

Eben Moglen, Founder, Software Freedom Law Centre and his Indian counterpart Mishi Choudhary talk about privacy on Internet, Facebook playing super-friend, surveillance, national security, problems with & more.

Direct download: NL_Interviews_Mishi_Chaudhury.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:14pm IST

This week on NL Hafta, Krishn Kaushik from The Caravan joins us as we discuss Essar’s Rs 250 crore defamation suit against The Caravan magazine and Kaushik. We try understanding why other media houses completely blacked out the story. Then the team moves on to discuss the much-talked about Indrani Mukerjea case. The team also deliberates whether political parties should come under Right to Information Act. The 2011 Census data on religion was released early this week. We discuss how the media reacted to the numbers and why the data matters. Finally, we talk about the newest star activist in town – Hardik Patel. We even dedicate a song to him.

For reference:

  1. The Caravan‘s cover story on Essar: Doing the Needful
  2. Newslaundry report on Essar’s defamation suit against The CaravanEssar sues The Caravan for Rs 250 crore for its latest cover story and it’s got even more people to read it
  3. RTI investigation series by Sandeep Pai: How politicians use PSUs as cash-vending machines
  4. Kiran Gandhi’s piece on HuffingtonPostWhy I Ran The London Marathon During My Period And Didn’t Wear A Pad Or Tampon


Produced by Kartik Nijhawan

Direct download: NewslaundryHaftapisode30.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:06pm IST

Development writer and international negotiations-watcher Biraj Swain, journalist Mihir Sharma, economist and ex-United Nations diplomat Nitin Desai, global tax regulation advocate Pooja Rangaprasad and UNWomen official Yamini Mishra,  discuss the 3rd International Financing for Development (FfD) Summit, which recently concluded in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in July.


India played a major role in the summit and came in for support from G-77, emerging economies and civil society alike. The most contentious item was having a global tax regulatory body where the poor countries, countries with the menace of tax evasion have a say and sit at the table. Because if you are not at the table, you are on the menu - to be gobbled by all. With increasing importance of taxation, domestic revenues for development financing, public services, it is important to plug the loopholes. But while India championed global fair finance, it has not been exactly doing the things it could internally. It increased the royalty payments a couple of years ago, which has meant much more outflow just for brand usage.


Also, the assumption that greater revenue collection will result in greater social spending is faith-based, considering the health and nutrition budgets are shrinking and waivers on super-luxury items is a norm. The optics and the structural and institutional issues of global finance are important. The FfD could have done better in resolving some of that. Another interesting discussion was about how bailouts have been primarily bankers' retirement plans and have never done anything for the people – one more reason why debt burden, lender's greed and risk, and profligate borrowing should have been fixed at Addis.

Direct download: GSWAWG_Episode_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:50pm IST

We present a new fortnightly podcast series in collaboration with Biraj Swain, supported by Save the Children India for this project. “Global Summits: Where are we going?”, is a podcast series that will cut through the jargon and break down development summits for you with experts and commentators from around the world.

Direct download: global_summit_promo_mp3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:01pm IST

This week on NL Hafta, we discuss  the Comptroller and Auditor General’s audit of Delhi’s power distribution companies. We then move on to Cobrapost’s Operation Black Rain & how the English television media chose to ignore it. We also discuss PM Modi’s UAE trip & the speech he delivered to the Indian diaspora. The team also discusses Tehelka being served a legal notice for listing Bal Thackeray as a terrorist in its cover and the police crackdown on FTII students. We close with a brief discussion about Mulayam Singh Yadav’s comments on gangrape and Rahul Gandhi’s visionary sarkar. We also dedicate a song to Rahul Gandhi.


Direct download: NLHaftaEpisode29.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:05am IST

This week on NL Hafta, we discuss Rahul Gandhi and Sushma Swaraj’s speeches in Parliament. We also question the opposition’s intent behind the parliamentary disruptions. We then move on to the Mumbai hotel raids and the broader problem of moral policing in the country. Has it increased ever since the Modi government came into power?  The team also discusses Radhe Ma and the godman/godwoman culture in India. Are the Indian masses really that gullible or is there something bigger at play here?  We close with a brief discussion on the Alka lamba incident.

Produced by Kartik Nijhawan

Direct download: NLHaftaEpisode28.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:58pm IST

A wrap of the good, the bad and the funny from the world of news. Parliament debates constipation, #PornBan, Subramanian Swamy's new target, Rahul Gandhi gets attacked with a mic, Pakistani reporter Chand Nawab and more.

Direct download: ClotheslineEpisode64.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:43pm IST

This week on NLHafta we discuss the #PornBan (and the subsequent unbanning). Then the team moves on to discuss disruption in Parliament and if it was right for Sumitra Mahajan to suspend 25 Congress members of Parliament? Then we talk about the media’s eagerness to dub the terrorist nabbed in Udhampur as junior Kasab. But was there even a senior Kasab? Also, what made Modi roll back the  amendments to the land bill? Finally, we discuss why TV anchors are not bothered about the possible amendment to the Whistle Blowers Protection Act. 


Produced by Kartik Nijhawan

Direct download: NLHaftaEpisode27.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:42pm IST

Ashish Khetan on his journalistic ethics, and why he think the recent Newslaundry story about a PCI complaint that alleged financial relations between Essar and Tehelka was journalistically flawed & was unfair to him.

The two Essar reports carried in Newslaundry that pertain to Tehelka and Ashish Khetan’s reportage.

The long arm of Essar: Did a paid news complaint registered with Press Council of India reach an Essar executive’s inbox?

How Essar tried to manage  the media

Manisha Pande’s response:

Since Ashish Khetan had specified that he would like to be interviewed by either Madhu Trehan or Abhinandan Sekhri, I was unable to respond to some of the specific grouses he had with my report on the Essar leaks. Mr Khetan, through the interview, repeatedly stresses on his assumption that the article on Essar managing to lay its hands on Press Council’s complaint was a plant coming from Prashant Bhushan. I would like to state categorically that I did not receive this email from Mr Bhushan and neither did I meet him for the story. I did speak to his associate for the story to get a confirmation on whether this email would form part of the ongoing public interest litigation. His quote is in the report.

On the question of the Yahoo story Mr Khetan mentions, the complainant, Ms Shrinjan Khosla, has said on record that she stands by her statement to me. Ms Khosla also adds, and again on record, that she stands by the merits of the complaint.

Direct download: NLInterviewsAshishKhetan.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:51am IST