'Did Jay Shah story because that's journalism, not because it's brave': Reporter Rohini Singh writes Facebook post

Rohini Singh — who wrote the report for The Wire that alleged malpractices by Jay Shah's firm Temple Enterprise — has taken to social media to explain her point-of-view amidst the entire controversy.

In a Facebook post on 9 October, Rohini said that her intention was not to write a "sanctimonious" note on the way recent events have unfolded and what "what other journalists should do." The journalist, whose article on Amit Shah's son has been in the eye of a major controversy, wrote that as a journalist her primary job is to "speak truth" regardless of who is in power. "To question the government of the day".

"Intimidation and harassment are tools often used by powerful people to get journalists to toe the line. As someone famously once said and I paraphrase, news is something someone wants to suppress, everything else is advertising. I don't know about others but I don't wish to lose focus of that. I would rather quit journalism than do the sort of reportage that I see often around me."

Rohini wrote how when she reported on Robert Vadra and his dealings with the DLF in 2011, there was absolutely no backlash and questioned the recent rhetoric around the story.

Rohini's post received over 4,000 shares and more than 11,000 likes on Facebook. On 9 October, Shah filed a defamation case against The Wire over a report claiming his firm's turnover grew manifold after the party came to power, as the row set off by the article escalated with the Congress demanding the BJP chief's ouster. The next hearing for a court inquiry is scheduled for Wednesday when two witnesses from Shah's side who had first informed him about the publication of the article are likely to depose.

In his application, Shah prayed for, "criminal action against the respondents for defaming and tarnishing the reputation of the complainant through an article, which is scandalous, frivolous, misleading, derogatory, libelous and consisting of several defamatory statements."

The seven respondents in the case are the author of the article Rohini Singh, founding editors of the news portal Siddarth Varadarajan, Sidharth Bhatia and M K Venu, managing editor Monobina Gupta, public editor Pamela Philipose and the Foundation for Independent Journalism, the non-profit company that publishes The Wire.

With inputs from agencies

Updated Date: Oct 11, 2017 08:32:46 IST