Was Reuters inept in handling Modi interview, wonders Teesta

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New Delhi, July 15: Secretary of Citizens for Justice and Peace Teesta Setalvad has found more fault with Reuters, the news agency which had conducted an interview of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi recently after it went on to raise a massive storm in India's political circles.

Setalvad questioned the interview and termed it as a sensational tokenism, which "was not a dispassionate or thorough exercise that attempts to genuinely probe opinions and views".

In a press release, Setalvad claimed that a week before publishing the exclusive interview of Modi, their forum was continuously contacted by a Reuters correspondent (not any of the two who took the interview). She said Reuters, unlike what some veteran journalists like Karan Thapar did by trying to reach the bottom of what the Gujarat leader actually thinks about the 2002 riots, chose to casually record the latter's response.

Setalvad said Reuters managed to get an exclusive interview of Modi but couldn't persist with accurate and pinching questions.

She also said the Reuters correspondent she was speaking about earlier contacted her in the Sahmat office at 29 Feroz Shah Road and told that he was clueless about the Gujarat riots. He said his bosses had asked him to track down the special investigation committee report. She alleged that the Reuters authorities did not bother to contact her directly.

Setalvad said they had asked the Reuters to go through all reports and legal documents related to the riots before proceeding but the latter had allegedly completed the interview by then.

She said the interview was conducted more to grab headlines and create sensation and that the interview lacked real probing questions.

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