IBN7 Associated Editor Pankaj Srivastava Sacked For Raising Voice Against Bias in Delhi Election Coverage
(IBN7 Associated Editor Pankaj Srivastava Sacked For Raising Voice Against Bias in Delhi Election Coverage. Will challenge termination in court, says Pankaj.)
In a sudden, unprovoked and illegal move the management of IBN7 the Hindi News Channel owned by Network 18 has terminated the services of Associate Editor, Pankaj Srivastava on 21 January, 2015. The termination notice was abruptly served to Pankaj by Deputy General Manager, HR, Mayank Bhatnagar at 10 PM last night. The notice mentions that “services are hereby terminated with immediate effect”.
This termination was followed after a text message by Pankaj to Deputy Managing Editor Sumit Awasthi. The message stated —
“ Aiysa lagata hai ki hum AAP ko harwaney mein jute hain yeh theek nahi hai, logo ka kehna hai ki Satish Uppdhyay ke bhai Umesh hamarey editor hain isliye aisa hai..ye patrakaron ke usoolon ke khilaaf hai, Pankaj Srivastava” (It seems that we have joined campaign to defeat AAP, this is unfair. Many people believe that this is happening because Umesh our Editor is brother of Satish Upadhyay. This goes against journalistic principles, Pankaj Srivastava).
This mobile text message was sent by Pankaj at 8:48 from his official mobile number.
Pankaj has been raising the issue of unfair and unequal coverage of Delhi Assemble Elections. He has on number of occasions approached editors and tried to persuade that the practice of complete black out of Aam Aadmi Party is unethical and goes against established norms of journalistic propriety. Majority of journalists working with IBN 7 and CNN-IBN are not comfortable with internal censorship on many issues – particularly relating to Aam Aadmi Party and its convener Arvind Kejriwal who is also Chief Ministerial candidate of the party. These issues were raised number of times during editorial meetings.
A series of programmes like “Kiran Ka Karishma” to highlight the BJP’s CM Candidate are being telecast in the channel are debated and criticised internally.
Reacting of his abrupt termination Pankaj says,” Considering the fact that Network 18 is one of the biggest media network in world’s biggest democracy it is a serious concern that journalistic ethics are blatantly compromised.”
Known for his stand on social issues and standing for what is right, Pankaj is all set take the issue a step ahead. He is taking legal advice and within due course of time, he will challenge his unfair and uncalled termination in the court of law.
(A brief profile of Dr Pankaj Srivastava – Pankaj started his journalistic journey in 1997 as a trainee reporter with Amar Ujala in Kanpur. He was later transferred to the state bureau at Lucknow. He joined Star News in January, 2003. Later on he handled a senior profile of bureau-incharge of UP for Star News. In 2007 he moved to Delhi and was member of the core team which launched “Samay” channel. After a brief stint with Samay, Pankaj joined IBN7 on March 10th 2008. As far academic qualification is concerned he is D-Phil in History from prestigious Allahabad University.)
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