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Anukriti Malik

NewsX passes off staffers as students on debate show. Now says one employee is still a student

On December 19, NewsX conducted a debate titled “Young students on CAA, Let’s Solve this CAA Warzone!“ on the nationwide protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act. Introducing the panel, the anchor Devika Chopra said, “I have several students with me in the studio right now.” 

A day later, a Twitter user alleged that NewsX had posed some of its own journalists as students on the show.

Alt News verified the claims. It turned out that NewsX had indeed posed its journalists as students. Alt News had contacted a former NewsX employee who identified two of the panellists as journalists currently working with the organisation’s digital team – Arshiya Bhalla and Srishti Goel. 

Bhalla was introduced by the anchor as a student, but later described as a “professional” and “young professional”.

Chopra then introduced Goel: “I also have Shristi Goel who is a Jamia student with me on the broadcast.” Again, Goel was later addressed as a “professional” and “young professional”.

According to the Alt News report, Goel was initially identified as “Sristi”, although the channel corrected the spelling to “Shristi” during the broadcast. Both Bhalla and Goel have author bios on the NewsX website.

Following the Alt News article, the anchor, Devika Chopra, took to Twitter to debunk the claims. 

According to her LinkedIn profile, Bhalla completed her master’s in journalism and mass communication in 2017 and has been working with NewsX since November 2017 as a web content writer. She is not a student at present.

Goel has previously anchored Bigg Boss 13 Live: 17th December Full Episode for NewsX, according to Alt News.

Tanmai, the first guest introduced on the show, is an undergraduate research fellow at an institute in Hyderabad.

But it could not be ascertained whether the other “students” on the show – Dipanshu, Amlan, Tayba, Nikita, Joieta, Apoorva and Subranshu – are indeed students.

UPDATE: After this article was published, Subhrangshu Pratim Sarmah, whose name was misspelled as Subranshu by NewsX, tweeted saying he was indeed a student.

Photographs courtesy Alt News.

Update on April 21, 2022: The Hyderabad student has been partially anonymised in this report, on their request.

Newslaundry is a reader-supported, ad-free, independent news outlet based out of New Delhi. Support their journalism, here.

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