Sohit Mishra, the Mumbai bureau chief of NDTV, has resigned amidst allegations of editorial interference. The controversy centres around claims that the channel’s Editor-in-Chief, Sanjay Pugalia, pressured Mishra to disrupt a press conference held by former Congress president Rahul Gandhi. Mishra’s resignation has raised questions about media integrity and editorial autonomy within NDTV.
The turmoil began when Mishra allegedly received instructions from Pugalia to create a disturbance at Rahul Gandhi’s press conference and steer the narrative in a particular direction. Sources within NDTV revealed that Pugalia directed Mishra to pose specific questions to Rahul Gandhi, including inquiries about his supposed preference for foreign media, his stance on the “anti-national narrative,” and promotes corruption allegations linked to the Rafale deal. These directives have sparked concerns about the channel’s editorial direction and journalistic ethics.
Of note is Pugalia’s appointment as Editor-in-Chief after the Adani Group’s acquisition of NDTV. This has raised suspicions of external influence on editorial decisions, given the conglomerate’s significant business interests and political ties.
Having been associated with NDTV for seven years, Mishra reportedly declined to comply with these instructions, leading to his resignation. Initially, he was asked to serve a one-month notice period, but his resignation was abruptly made effective immediately, moving up his last working day to September 8, just one week into the notice period. This sudden change has raised questions about the circumstances surrounding his departure and whether any undue pressure was exerted.
Mishra’s silence on the matter when contacted by News laundry has fuelled speculation about the reasons behind his resignation. However, a Congress representative who attended Rahul Gandhi’s press conference confirmed that the event proceeded without disruptions, suggesting that Mishra’s exit did not impact the event directly.
In a YouTube video posted after his resignation, Mishra disclosed that he chose to leave NDTV before the situation “turned bitter.” This hints at growing tensions or disagreements within the organization, ultimately prompting his resignation. Additionally, Mishra noted that several other journalists had also resigned from NDTV over the past year, prompting questions about the work environment and editorial policies at the channel.
Sohit Mishra’s resignation from NDTV amidst allegations of editorial interference underscores concerns about editorial independence, potential external influences, and the workplace atmosphere within the media organization. This incident highlights the ongoing challenges faced by journalists and media outlets in upholding journalistic integrity and unbiased reporting.