ABP News’ top journalists Abhisar Sharma, Milind Khandekar, Punya Prasun Bajpai are no longer part of the channel is now the talk of the town. Khandekar was heading the editorial section of the TV channel as well as its digital operations. Later he also tweeted about his departure from the channel.
14 years & 8 days later it’s time to move on. Today was my last day as Managing Editor @abpnewstv . Thank you for being part of my journey so far.
— Milind Khandekar (@milindkhandekar) August 1, 2018
From the past few days, this story is doing rounds on social media. The reason behind their sudden exit is still unclear. The leftists and the liberals claim that the trio got fired because of their anti-Modi rant, while others claim that they have willingly left the channel to launch a massive anti-BJP media outlet with the funding from the opposition parties ahead of 2019 General Elections.
— हम भारत के लोग (@India_Policy) August 2, 2018
Time and again Abhisar Sharma was found indulged in unethical works. Abhisar Sharma’s claim to fame was his anti-Modi and anti-BJP stance which he zealously tried to uphold using any means possible. Lack of proof and solid facts have seldom been a hindrance for journalists who are set on their path to spread propaganda. Abhisar Sharma was a forerunner of the anti-BJP cabal of Hindi journalists. Numerous instances in the past have shown his bias a brief summary of which is important to understand how these ‘journalists’ sell their propaganda under the garb of ‘journalism’.
— The Frustrated Indian (@FrustIndian) March 14, 2017
Sandeep Kumar an Aam Aadmi Party leader had been embroiled in a sex tape controversy. The woman in the video had come out in the public and alleged that the MLA had coerced her for sexual favours in return for help. While this controversy blotted the name of AAP and Sandeep Kumar had to resign, Abhisar Sharma had written an article trying to shield the AAP MLA. He had raised doubts over the timing, the involvement of the woman and had tried to give a clean chit to the AAP MLA. He also could be held guilty of using abusive and vulgar language on the social media platforms countless times. But the most brazen defense he has ever tried to do was that of trying to subtly justify the Malda riots.
Punya Prasun Bajpai is very well known for his Krantikari (revolutionary) interview of Arvind Kejriwal. In 2014, a video surfaced where Arvind Kejriwal can be seen ordering Bajpai to play up those parts of the interview where he sounds like a revolutionary, and Bajpai was seen not only obliging Kejriwal but also giving him tips.
In 2018, Bajpai joined ABP and started his own show ‘Masterstroke.’ The credibility of the channel suffered a huge setback because of his show. He was found being indulged in spreading fake news to tarnish the image of PM Modi.
ABP didn’t even visit farm of Chandramani Kaushi and filed a malicious report on prime time. In their enthusiasm to push anti-Modi agenda, they didn’t even do basic fact checks. @milindkhandekar must run an apology on his channel for misleading his viewers. #UnfortunateJournalism pic.twitter.com/yCx5eRmP3q
— Amit Malviya (@amitmalviya) July 9, 2018
Pic 1: 2017- ABP was at 2nd rank
Pic 2: 2018- ABP is down to 4th rank
It's not politics everytime, sometimes it's falling TRP and performance too pic.twitter.com/zhgAIgK6aw
— Ankur Singh (@iAnkurSingh) August 2, 2018
According to The Hoot report, the business of ABP news network in FY16 was on shaky ground. The channel accumulated a loss of Rs 282 crore by March 2016, compared to Rs 213 crore in March 2015. ABP group’s main source of revenue is its print arm- ABP Private Ltd. Anandabazar Patrika and The Telegraph make up nearly 85 per cent of its revenues. In FY16, ABP Private Limited earned standalone revenues of Rs 956.5 crore, a modest 3 per cent increase over FY15. The report further stated that, “The balance sheet of the print business was in good shape, with a net worth of Rs 468 crore in the end of March 2016.” Despite in profit, in 2017 ABP group fired its 700 staffs.
Very recently, one more big media group NDTV has also cut down its workforce by up to 25%. But no one created vociferous outrage at that time. Although people are still waiting for the channel and the journalists to clear the dust, it is quite clear that irrespective of whether they were fired or whether they resigned on their own, this is good riddance for the channel.
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