The New York Times (NYT), whose front page report lauding the AAP-led Delhi government’s much-touted education model became a major sub-plot of recent CBI raid against Manish Sisodia – Delhi’s deputy chief minister who also holds the education portfolio – dismissed allegations its report was a ‘paid article’.
“Education is an issue that the NYT has covered over many years. Our report about efforts to improve Delhi’s education system is based on impartial, on-the-ground reporting,” the newspaper’s director for external communications, Nicole Taylor, said in an email to news agency PTI.
“Journalism from the New York Times is always independent, free from political or advertiser influence,” Taylor added. On the same story being published in the Khaleej Times as well, she said that other news outlets ‘routinely license and republish our coverage’.
The report, published on the front page of NYT’s international edition on August 18, became a major sub-plot of Friday’s CBI raid against Manish Sisodia, the deputy CM of Delhi who also holds the education portfolio.
The response by the London-based Taylor, who, according to her LinkedIn profile is responsible for the daily’s communications in global markets outside the US, came after PTI wrote to her, seeking a clarification on the matter.
On Friday, as the CBI raided Sisodia’s residence in connection with alleged regularities in the Delhi government’s excise policy, several leaders of his AAP, including the party’s national convenor and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, and Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann, described him as the ‘best education minister of independent India’.
Pointing to the NYT’s story, the party said the fact that the central agency’s action against the senior minister came just a day after the report was published, showed that the opposition BJP, to whose government at the Centre the CBI and other central agencies report, was rattled by the rise of the AAP, and, in particular, that of Arvind Kejriwal.
It also challenged the saffron party to get an article published in the NYT by paying money, if possible. The AAP’s retort came after the BJP, pointing to the same story appearing in Khaleej Times (the paper credited NYT), said this proved that the report was a ‘paid promotion’.