NEW DELHI: The announcement of abrupt exit of Bobby Ghosh, the editor-in-chief Hindustan Times broken through an email came as a shock to the newsroom.
In an email on September 11, Chairperson of HT Media Shobhana Bhartia informed her staff that Ghosh has resigned from the organisation and will be returning to New York citing “personal reasons.”
It is speculated that, Ghosh, a widely respected journalist and editor with extensive worldwide experience have been fired as a result of political pressure from the government since senior ministers wasn’t too pleased with HT’s political coverage.
Now, The Wire website has revealed that before announcing Ghosh’s departure from HT, Bhartia had held meeting with PM Modi behind closed doors.
In his response to The Wire, PM’s principal secretary Nripendra Misra has confirmed the meeting between Modi and Bhartia but denies government interference.
In a short span of 14 months with HT Digital Streams Ltd. Ghosh has launched ‘Let’s talk about troll,’ that focuses attention on online abuse and bullying.
Ghosh also launched a webpage called ‘Hate Tracker’ that irked the right wing groups affiliated to the BJP who were the major target.
‘Hate Tracker’ is a “national database which records “acts, threats and incitements to violence in the name of religion, caste, race, ethnicity, region of origin, gender identity and sexual orientation.”
Top-level government and BJP officials also raised objections to the fact that he wasn’t an Indian citizen, the website added.
A copy of the Bhartia’s email is as below:
I am deeply disappointed to share the news that Bobby Ghosh will be returning to New York, for personal reasons.
Bobby has only been with HT Digital Streams Ltd. for 14 months, but in that time he has engineered a dramatic transformation of our various news products. This is reflected not only in our traffic numbers, but in the sheer ambition of our journalism. Under his leadership, HT Newsroom has pursued bold ideas and has addressed some of the most pressing issues of our time. We have come to be recognized as the place for journalistic innovation and enterprise.
We will miss him, but I am confident that the newsroom leadership team he has nurtured will more than live up to the challenge.
At my request, Bobby has agreed to stay on for a while, to help in the transition and complete some projects he has already launched.
There will be time for proper farewells. For now, please join me in wishing Bobby the best in his next adventures.
Before the Hindustan Times, Ghosh had worked at ‘Quartz’, CNN as well as TIME Magazine’s World Editor.
He had previously been TIME’s Baghdad bureau chief. He is one of the longest-serving foreign correspondents in Iraq and has written stories from other conflict areas like Kashmir and Palestine.
He has also worked for ‘Time Asia’ and ‘Time Europe’.