In one of the most awkward scenes from live television news when journalist Anjana Om Kashyap was denied an interview on camera and was showed the way to door, literally. The Sneha Dubey Anjana Om Kashyap video is now viral making journalists and citizens raise questions about boundaries and journalism.
In the video, well known Indian news anchor, Kashyap is seen addressing the viewers on live television, anticipating a ‘special’ interview while walking into a room where India’s first secretary to United Nations, Sneha Dubey was present. Dubey has been in the news for her strong rebuttal to Pakistan in her UN Speech and received accolades from all quarters.
With her ear-wide smile, the journalist nonchalantly touches Dubey’s arm and says, “I know you don’t want to talk on record but if you can talk…because the whole country wants to hear you speak. What you did today at the UN might be a routine work for you but it’s a huge thing for the country.”
#AnjanaOmKashyap and @aajtak haven't learnt, you don't go live to a person or persons who care a tuppence about her and (PM?)#AnjanaOmKashyap having a bad tour .
*Video courtesy @aajtak via @yippeekiyay_dk pic.twitter.com/Lj7SiZDvVR
— Jude David (@judedavid21) September 25, 2021
The shortness of breath in Kashyap’s voice is met with Dubey’s polite namaste. The UN secretary replies, “I already said what I had to say…please.” Trying to hide her face in her phone, she pointed Kashyap with her hands towards the door asking the journalist to leave. The clip has since gone viral. It’s become a good reminder on when journalists need to draw the line or respect boundaries. Sometimes barging in does not get you an interview…
It is hard to blame the journalist for trying to get a one-on-one interview with Dubey who made headlines on September 25. When Pakistan’s Prime Minister raised the issue of Kashmir during his address at the UN General Assembly, Sneha Dubey gave him blistering retort on behalf of India. The IFS officer of 2012 batch called out Pakistan for sheltering terrorists in its backyard and asked it to vacate the areas illegally occupied in India. Dubey gained massive applause from Indians for her fierce rebuttal.
As an Indian secretary to United Nations, Dubey had already done her job. It seems fair that she did not want to speak further on the matter. Being the fourth pillar of democracy, journalists are supposed to speak truth to power. Squeezing in crowds just to get one statement on record is alright. But do journalists have to invade private spaces and push people to give them attention, always?
As a journalist just getting started in the field, I feel conflicted. I agree that when it comes to asking important questions, it should not matter how much discomfort it brings to the powerful. But will it be ethical of me to be completely inconsiderate of sources’ boundaries? Or those of someone I want to interview but I am not getting opportunities to?
Isn’t the whole point of on-record and off-record statements about respecting the interest of the source? I find it difficult to understand why was Sneha Dubey put in front live camera when she had made it clear before that she will not give any further statements.