Shekhar Gupta, the founder and editor-in-chief of the news website The Print, and the president of the Editors Guild of India, tweeted on 26 May, “Since you asked: 1st, my personal (editorial) view. I do not accept stings as journalism. It’s a publicly explained view. The Print’s Code of ethics firmly bars stings, pl check the link. The code at IE barred stings too & I presume it hasn’t changed.” He was responding to Yogendra Yadav, the national president of Swaraj India, who urged Gupta, and other editors of national news organisations, to speak up about “Operation 136: Part II”—the second part of a sting operation by the investigative news website Cobrapost, which was published the previous day. The Cobrapost investigation looked into paid news items, and showed how dozens of media houses were ready and willing to push a Hindutva agenda on their official platforms in exchange for large sums of money.
Shekhar Gupta’s tweet was disingenuous to say the least.