ThePrint, the digital media portal which is known for its model of journalism where the reporters quote anonymous “sources,” has been slammed by the Russian ambassador to India for spreading fake news. The news portal published a story titled- India-Russia annual summit postponed for 1st time in two decades amid Moscow’s unease with Quad- published by its reporter Nayanima Basu.
However, Nikolay Kudashev, Ambassador of the Russian Federation to India, called it “far from reality” in a tweet. “Noted the article “India-Russia annual summit postponed for 1st time in two decades amid Moscow’s unease with Quad” in The Print.
Find it to be far from reality. Special and privileged strategic partnership between Russia and India is progressing well despite the #COVID19,” tweeted Kudashev.
Noted the article “India-Russia annual summit postponed for 1st time in two decades amid Moscow’s unease with Quad” in the Print.
Find it to be far from reality. Special and privileged strategic partnership between Russia and India is progressing well despite the #COVID19.
— Nikolay Kudashev (@NKudashev) December 23, 2020
“Staying in close touch with our Indian friends to work out new dates for the summit, postponed due to epidemiological reasons. We are confident that it will be held in near future, while the Russian-Indian relations will continue its further development,” he added.
The story by The Print quoted sources to argue that India’s closeness with the United States is the cause of a disgruntled Russia. “This is the first such year, however, when despite several high-level visits from New Delhi to Moscow, tensions have begun to simmer in the bilateral ties over Russia’s rhetoric against India’s increasing alignment with the US, diplomatic sources told The Print,” reads the story.
“There is indeed some discontent over Russia’s repeated comments on India and casting aspersions over New Delhi’s decision to join the Quad,” said an Indian official adding that the summit may take place early next year,” it added quoting anonymous Indian officials.
This is not the first time that The Print has spread fake news quoting anonymous sources. In fact, the organization and its chief editor Shekhar Gupta (who was earlier with The Indian Express and is known for the famous/infamous coup story), are known for journalism of anonymous “sources” who exist only in altogether a different world.
Is this parody? If not and if serious, this is calumny. The quotes attributed to me are not mine. https://t.co/f7CtNxTdX3
— Nirmala Sitharaman (@nsitharaman) February 15, 2020
Previously the portal has falsely attributed Nirmala Sitharaman, which, according to her, she never said. “Is this parody? If not and if serious, this is calumny. The quotes attributed to me are not mine,” tweeted finance minister, with the link of The Print’s story.
The Print and Shekhar Gupta are well known for this kind of journalism, where reporters quote “sources” to solidify their own claims. When Mr Gupta was Editor in Chief of The Indian Express, the organization excelled in falsely attributing quotes to various people, and creating stories out of thin air with the help of “sources’ and “quotes”.
The organization became infamous for the coup story, in which the organization ran a story claiming that the Army’s battalion moved from quarters to take over the leadership of the country when the anti-corruption movement was at its peak.
Moreover, accusing General VK Singh of treason, the report by The Indian Express claimed that two “sizable army units” had moved towards Raisina Hills in January 2012. The story further claimed, “Lookouts confirmed the movement of what looked like a sizable unit. It was soon identified as an entire unit of Mechanised Infantry, with its Russian-made Armoured Fighting Vehicles (AFVs), carried on 48 tank transporters. The movement was towards the capital, which was odd.”
In February last year, General VK Singh ripped apart the then Indian Express Editor-in-Chief Shekhar Gupta over the 2012 story on the fake coup that was recently debunked by a Sunday Guardian report.
Mocking Shekhar Gupta as Couptaji, the minister took a dig at the age-old tradition of projecting the Prime Minister and Army chief in a face-off, as he posted, “When Mr Coupta was recruited by the powers-behind-the-scenes to cleverly imply I was planning a coup, their objective was to not only spook the good Doctor (Dr Manmohan Singh) and his Italian handler (Sonia Gandhi), it was also the time-honoured tactic that had been in vogue to set Nehru versus Thimayya, Shastri versus Chaudhuri, or Indira Gandhi versus Manekshaw. However, earlier these were usually just whispers… which was damaging enough.”
When Mr Gupta was with The Indian Express, he used to do the same with help of “sources” and falsely attributed “quotes”, and now he is doing it in The Print too, where he is Editor-in-chief, like the previous organization