Sacked DailyO Editor Hints at Legal Action Against India Today
“What began with a tweet must also end with a tweet.”
The DailyO journalist, who was fired over a tweet, criticising media spreading hate-mongering and fake news, has hinted on Twitter at taking legal action against the India Today Group for ‘unlawful termination of service’.
Angshukanta Chakraborty, the political editor of DailyO – a website that publishes opinion pieces and is a part of the India Today Group – said that she was asked to delete the tweet, or resign, or face termination by the Human Resources team.
In the rant against her former employer, Chakraborty wrote that she was sacked on the grounds of misconduct, just for refusing to delete her tweet which was considered 'objectionable' by the management.
I must add here that I was never asked for any explanation by any “internal panel”; neither was I aware that there was indeed such a panel. Can India Today explain exactly what was objectionable about calling for accountability from media organisations over fake news and hate speech?Angshukanta Chakraborty
The scribe hinted in the open letter that she will take legal action against the media house.
This is to give you notice that I will take such action against you as advised to vindicate my fundamental right to free speech and expression and my integrity as a journalist.
The tweet in question is currently pinned on her timeline. It reads, “Promoters turning a blind eye to hate-mongering, fake news spreading news anchors, editors, reporters and writers, or hiring them in the first place, must be tried in courts as hate speech enablers-profiteers. Must be boycotted socially by secular politicians & Industrialists. ”
India Today had on Tuesday responded to Chakraborty’s termination saying, “the concerned employee is counselled multiple times prior to taking any action. The violation is also investigated by an internal panel and taken to logical conclusion. This individual case, being presented in any other manner, is mala fide and should be understood as such. ”
A few media organisations that come under the India Today Group, such as AajTak, India Today TV and Mail Today, are known to have circulated fake news in 2017. Post-demonetisation, AajTak claimed that the new Rs 2,000 notes have GPS chips embedded on them. Other than this particular instance, AajTak has had several run ins with fake news.
Senior anchor Shiv Aroor had also tweeted a fake news late in December 2017. Mail Today editor Abhijit Majumder had also tweeted hate-mongering fake news following the Kasganj violence.
(This story was updated with Angshukanta Chakraborty’s response on 14 February, 10 pm.)
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