Journalists need to ask tough questions

I have repeatedlt stated on my blog that the journalists do not ask tough questions from whoever they are interviewing. It should not matter whether the business tycoon is a big shot or not. In addition, they should also analyze the situation and raise all the relevant issues. This is the only way we can keep everybody in the process honest. For instance, I have stated why no journalist except one asked Satyam bosses the question as to why they were keeping so much of money in the bank. Also, why doesn’t anybody ask Kishore Biyani as to how many formats he has announced so far and how many of those he has implemented? How about asking Kishore Biyani the source of funding for his various formats? What about asking Ratan Tata the reason behind taking such a heavy booking amount as well as the need to sell the forms for exhorbitant Rs. 300 and the levy of processing charges? I thought we were talking of people’s car whereas the the process seems like we are buying an Rolls Royce.

This happens because the journalists and the newspapers are afraid of big time business guys as they get advertisements from them. Also, newspapers like Times of India and Economic Times further compromise their ability to do investigative reporting because they keep calling these big time politicians and business guys to become their editors for a day.

The same thing has happened in US. Jon Stewart of CNN very clearly brought about how the business press had completely the public especially the investors because it didn’t ask the tough questions to the company honchos especially those of the Wall Street. Just like in India, practically all the business journalists in US were just happy to report exciting boom numbers and accept the statements of business tycoons at face value without thinking. If the journalists would have analyzed the situation and asked intelligent questions, we could have come to know of the scams quite early.

The rage and anger against CNBC has become so strong that a group of people have established a website to force CNBC to report business news in a fair and analytical way.

Well, I have been trying to fill in the gap, that is, provide the analytical details and thinking which the business newspapers are not providing. I think I have tried to analyze the business events and laid threadbare all the issues involved. I exposed the deal between Jet and Kingfisher for what it was. I also exposed the side of Vijay Mallya that he had been hiding behind all the glamour. I calculated the amount of interest that Vijay Mallya saved by delaying payments to the government agencies including IOC. I have laid bare the scam behind Tata nano booking process. And I will continue to do so.

I do hope that business newspapers will start getting more analystical in their approach and not just serve as a post office. In any case, on my blog, you will get what it actually is. By the way, I started talking about the need for the business newspapers and journalists to ask tough questions even before Jon Stewart of the Daily Show did.

Avinash Narula

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This is a great blog as you are trying to unmask the verity. Keep this up!


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