Media

Watch: Legal Harassment and the Corporate Muzzling of Independent Journalism in India

Independent journalist Subir Ghosh and Supreme Court attorney Karuna Nundy in conversation with The Wire about media ethics, the law and corporate harassment of journalists.

Karuna Nundy and Subir Ghosh discuss 'Sue The Messenger'In this live video interview with TheWire.in, journalist Subir Ghosh and Supreme Court attorney Karuna Nundy discuss the book 'Sue the Messenger: How Legal Harassment by Corporates Is Shackling Reportage and Undermining Democracy in India' , and answer questions about media ethics, the corporatisation of media, what the law says, what the legal harassment of journalists means for free speech and democracy in India, and more.

Posted by TheWire.in on Wednesday, 4 May 2016

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p dir=”ltr”>In early 2014, Subir Ghosh, Paranjoy Guha Thakurta and Jyotirmoy Chaudhuri self-published a book on India’s biggest corporate house, Gas Wars: Crony Capitalism and the Ambanis. Barely a fortnight after the book had been in circulation, it became the subject of a succession of legal notices served to its authors and a host of other people associated with publishing, distributing and even launching it.

In his introduction to his new book with Guha Thakurta, Sue The Messenger: How Legal Harassment by Corporates Is Shackling Reportage and Undermining Democracy in India, Ghosh describes the events of that April:

“The book made news, soon enough. But not in the way that authors usually want — booming sales and flattering reviews. There were neither favourable nor negative reviews in the mainstream media; all that appeared sparingly were news about us being served legal notices, most of them tersely-worded single-column pieces buried deep inside the pages. It was as if the narrative about two of India’s wealthiest men did not exist at all in the mainstream media — it had been swallowed up by the fabled news hole.”

This isn’t the only example of independent investigative journalism that seeks to probe the questionable practices of powerful corporates being muzzled by legal notices and defamation suits. A host of other such cases related to Sahara, Infosys and Air India point to a trend, which Ghosh and Guha Thakurta closely scrutinise in Sue The Messenger.

In this live video interview with The Wire, Ghosh and Supreme Court advocate Karuna Nundy discuss the book, and answer questions about media ethics, law, the corporatisation of the media, what the legal harassment of journalists means for free speech and democracy in India and more.