Mint, the business newspaper owned by the Hindustan Times group, has a four-page supplement of the first Republic Summit, hosted by the TV channel, Republic.
The guest list, as evident from the photographs, is revealing of the channel’s moorings and impulses.
Narendra Modi, Arun Jaitley, Amit Shah, Nitin Gadkari, Piyush Goyal, Devendra Fadnavis, Sarbananda Sonowal, Anurag Thakur, Smriti Irani
Farooq Abdullah, Praful Patel, Kamal Haasan, Junaid Mattu, Hardik Patel
Gen Bikram Singh, Justice Dipak Misra
Mukesh Ambani, Uday Kotak, Sanjiv Goenka
Jaggi Vasudev alias Sadhguru, Baba Ramdev
Prasoon Joshi, Sanjeev Sanyal, Raian Karanjawala, Ankhi Das
Gautam Gambhir, P.V. Sindhu, Babita Phogat
Interestingly, the industrialist Sanjiv Goenka of the RP-SanjivGoenka group, which owns Open magazine and is always interested in media buys, interviews finance minister Arun Jaitley, a task he previously performed on the day of the budget last year, which was shown live on, yes, Republic.
Among the listed sponsors of the event was Facebook, whose public policy director Ankhi Das is featured on page four with Jaitley’s bum-chum, the lawyer Raian Karanjawala.
Karanjawala’s firm represents the fallen editor M.J. Akbar in his defamation case against former Mint Lounge editor and columnist Priya Ramani. Facebook also sponsors a “show” on Republic.
Little wonder the message below, purporting to be the proceedings of a meeting of the National Broadcasters’ Association, appeared on the WhatsApp timeline of media folk yesterday.
“Congress has been boycotting Republic and has been barring Republic reporter from press conferences. Arnab (Goswami)and Rajat (Sharma) wanted to pass a resolution today saying if a party boycotts one channel, then all channels should boycott that party. To which NDTV, ABP said we have been boycotted by BJP for so long. Where was this solidarity then? Arnab said he didn’t know this had happened to them. Rajat is speaking to everybody individually for consensus and joint statement.”
Little wonder also that Subhash Chandra‘s Zee group has sent out this reported letter to the Congress president Rahul Gandhi.