The Hindu of today carries an article ‘The spotlight is on the media now’ by Priscilla Jebaraj on its editorial page, according to which Barkha Dutt, Vir Sanghvi, Diptosh Majumdar and Rajdeep Sardesai have reportedly made statements to the effect that to get information out of a source, it is in order to make a promise to do a favour, like carrying the source’s message to a Central minister, because these promises are not meant to be kept. I do not at all agree with this assertion. Do these ‘famous’ journalists seriously want us to believe that a top level lobbyists, having both Mukesh Ambani and the Tatas as clients, would let the journalists break such promises with impunity? In the nether world of influence peddling there are no written contracts, it is the oral word that has the force of a contract, and even heavens can not help those who do not keep their word.
In fact, the transcripts of taped conversations between a lobbyist and some journalists have only confirmed what the hapless readers and viewers have been suspecting for a long time that there is an unholy and deep nexus of lobbyists, fixers and some of the country’s most celebrated journalists with those holding in their hands the levers of political power.