Bengaluru: A former employee of India Today has exposed how Living Media Group which owns media brands like India Today, Aaj Tak and Business Today has degenerated.

The former employee who goes by the name Rakesh Krishnan Thiyya, worked in the media house for nearly 2 years as an assistant copy editor. 

In a series of tweets, he delineates how the company has manipulated things by becoming corrupt. 


He writes: 

“I worked at India Today for nearly 2 years as Assistant Copy Editor. By the time I joined in 1999 it had degenerated into a racket, with editors who were fixers rather than writers. Many editors used their power to blackmail politicians. Stories by honest investigative journalists were killed to protect corrupt judges such as Sumit Mukherjee.” 

On the issue of Sumit, he furthers, “Justice Mukherjee not only took bribes from property developers, he would also ask for calls girls. The code word for girls was “leg piece”. Despite CBI giving the case (including tapes of the judge talking to dalals) as an exclusive to India Today, the story was killed.” 

On electoral polls: 

“Electoral polls. These were fixed from the get-go to suit their narrative. Once I met the head of one of these polling firms. I said, you guys are complete fakes, why do you do this. He replied: “India Today pays us and we give them the results they ask for. Simple economics.”

On circulation: 

“Circulation. India Today at one point claimed they had a circulation of 250,000. Or maybe 400,000. I was quite proud to be part of this magazine. I was so pure! An insider told me their paid subscription was no more than 25,000. In fact, their print run was 40,000 tops.”

On fakeness of the company: 

“Point is the culture of fakeness that prevailed in Living Media. IndiaToday became a catalogue of articles to sell art displayed at Art Today, owned by Living Media. Editors hired were those who could influence the govt so the company could get FM and satellite TV licences.” 

On Rajdeep Sardesai: 

“I had grown up reading India Today when it had giants like Inderjit Badhwar. But by the time I got in, it was a place where fixers ruled. It is therefore not surprising that Rajdeep Sardesai was hired by Living Media because he fits the description of what they need.” 

He further adds: 

“Sardesai has no morals or scruples. The fact that he danced on screen when the Congress party won a state election shows he does not even pretend to have scruples. His interview of Sonia Gandhi, in which the hardest question he asked was about her cooking, shows he is ideal for hatchet jobs like the Rhea interview. He is no journalist. He is just a dalla, fixer of whom there are hundreds in Delhi.” 

He adds, “Who knows how much money changed hands for the Rhea interview. Only time will tell.” 

He goes on to say that Living Media are not at all media companies anymore. 

“Similarly, outfits like Living Media are not media companies any more than Osama is a Buddhist monk. They are influencer peddlers and fixers. They don’t care about the truth or justice or creating a better world. They just want cash at all costs.”