The Niira Radia tapes reveal that columnist Shobhaa De’s articles were also vetted by Niira Radia. Though senior journalist Vir Sanghvi was caught for Radia vetted articles, somehow De escaped public scrutiny, when the Radia tapes surfaced.
… Shobhaa De was trying to get in touch with Ratan Tata and Niira Radia was in the way, blocking access.
Niira Radia’s talks with her staffers Srini and Manoj Warrier reveal that, some of De’s articles are paid ones or pushed ones or vetted by Radia’s team. The conversations also gives an impression that Shobhaa De goofed up on some articles vetted by Radia’s team. Shobhaa De’s article praising Mukesh Ambani’s big home was either vetted or written by Radia’s team. It leads one to believe that this article was a paid news story.
Another interesting fact that comes out from the conversation between Radia and her staffers is that Shobhaa De was trying to get in touch with Ratan Tata and Niira Radia was in the way, blocking access.
The staffer Manoj has a fight with Shobhaa De for some comments in her articles praising Mukesh Ambani’s new home. Niira tries to do a monkey balancing act, and agrees with her staffer about the content in the article and some carelessness in the editing. However Niira Radia pacifies the staffer and makes him apologise to Shobhaa De for firing her. Niira Radia tells the staffer that in her heart Shobhaa De doesn’t like Niira Radia as she was preventing her from getting close to Ratan Tata for the past eight years.
Radia – staffer Srini: Reveals Shobhaa De is on the payroll of Niira and she just puts her name in articles prepared by Niira’s team (not that there’s anything wrong with it). Talks hinge around Shobhaa De’s articles praising Mukesh Ambani’s home. Niira advises Srini to take care in news planting, citing example of handling an over-sensitive Ratan Tata, who took each word of news and got upset on a single negative mention. If this is really true, Mr. Tata must be extremely upset with PGurus!
Talks about one staffer Natasha, an expert in handling people and says she managed Simone Tata well. Talks at length on how Simone was managed by Natasha by printing articles about her passion for philanthropy etc and pacified her even during succession issues.
Is this proof that Niira Radia pays to Times of India also for maintaining Shobhaa De’s trash columns?
At some point in the conversation Srini says Shobhaa De is a trash writer and a total sham and Niira Radia pacifies him that she is our person and how she manages Times of India’s Vineet Jain to keep printing her column. Is this proof that Niira Radia pays to Times of India also for maintaining Shobhaa De’s trash columns?
Srini also discusses the internal ego of a colleague Manoj Warrier, and says he tends to keep everything to himself, especially in dealing and cross dealing with big clients like Tata, Mukesh and some article goof up by Shobhaa De.
Pages 11 – 16:
Radia – staffer Manoj Warrier: Manoj had a fight with Shobha De for some comments in her articles praising Mukesh Ambani’s new home. Manoj complains that De is harsh. However Niira Radia pacifies the staffer and makes him apologise to Shobhaa De for firing her.
Talks veer to media management on some corruption allegations in KG Basin, Mukesh’s clashes with ONGC and some other banking issue with Ratan Tata. These talks show how several major newspapers routinely plant stories for a fee.
Transcript of the conversations
1. Text in Blue points to additional data on the topic.