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Did this abusive journalist do a ‘fake interview’ while with Hindustan Times?

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Twitter user Swati Chaturvedi is known as an abusive troll, though the mainstream media is trying to project her as an author and a journalist. The abusive language of Swati is known widely to anyone who has spent at least a few days on Twitter. See the tweets in the following image for example:

Not only she is an abusive troll, she writes imaginary news reports without caring for facts and gets published by stupid websites like ScoopWhoop, which is best known for publishing stupid articles that sound like “Six reasons your underwear is not red”.

But since she hates Narendra Modi and abuses BJP supporters on the social media, the mainstream media has been promoting her. Latest being her book, which is a hilarious attempt to malign BJP supporters on Twitter as abusive trolls.

An abusive troll writing about abusive trolling is pathetic in itself, but now her colourful past as a journlaist is coming to the fore on Twitter.

It is being alleged that Swati, then working as a journalist with the Hindustan Times group, had published an imaginary interview of the then Defence Minister George Fernandes sometime in the year 2001.

After the interview was published in the newspaper, Mr. Fernandes is supposed to have called up Shobhana Bhartia, the Chairperson of the media group who hails from a family loyal to the Congress party, and told her that he never talked to anyone named Swati.

Journalist Mohan Sinha, after talking to a Hindustan Times employee, claimed on Twitter that the journalist-turned-abusive-troll had indeed faked the interview:

A Twitter user Shreshtha Sharma claimed that after the complaint by George Fernandes, Hindustan Times conducted an internal inquiry and Swati Chaturvedi was fired from her job as she had faked the interview:

These are serious allegations and warrant inquiry and clarifications. What makes the matter even more complex is Swati claiming recently on Twitter that Fernandes talked to her about the 2002 riots. How can someone talk about 2002 riots in 2001? Was she talking about another interview?

At this time, nothing can be said with certainty whether the interview was faked or whether the above allegations are wrong. All of us now know that journalists creating fake stories is not ruled out. A Firstpost journalist Tarik Anwar was been asked by a court to be prosecuted for faking an interview.

But important to note is that Firstpost never announced publicly that they had fired Tarik Anwar. This fact came to light only after the court asked for prosecution. Tarik Anwar had got a job with the Times Group after Firstpost fired him.

Therefore it is well possible that Swati Chaturvedi was also fired by Hindustan Times but her journalistic career was not impacted. She became a journalist with another media house, and later became an abusive troll on Twitter. And it is also possible that Swati did a legitimate interview.

However, commentators on Twitter pointed to facts like Hindustan Times not archiving her interview. If it was a legitimate interview, why should the media house not archive it? Does it hint that the media house had withdrawn the interview because it was fake? Others asked Swati to produce the audio tape of the interview if it was real, but she has not provided any proof by the time I wrote this report.

Swati can’t be expected to provide any tapes because even if the interview was real, the tapes will be the property of Hindustan Times and not personal property of Swati Chaturvedi.

Thus Hindustan Times must clarify if it has the tape. If it has, why has it not published the interview online in its digital archives? Or whether the interview was indeed faked and a disciplinary action was taken against the journalist. A simple detail about the duration for which Swati was working with them can also help in this case.

Hindustan Times must do it because people should know the truth of kind of journalism that has been practised by journalists all these years. Rumours on either sides must be laid to rest.

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