Barkha Dutt vs NDTV: The star reporter takes on her former employer on Twitter

Accusing NDTV of using her brand name, she asked if she could also use 'We the People' as the name for a new show

Barkha Dutt seems to be in an open war with its former employer NDTV over the use of the word ‘MOJO’. Mojo is an upcoming venture that Barkha is coming out with. However, at the same time, NDTV has started a show with the same name. Taking a shot at her mentor company, she said that channels aping us think it means only Mobile Journalism. “Ndtv finance woes apart isn’t it wrong to appropriate someone’s brand name & new form of journalism as yours.”

Tweeting about the details of her brand, Barkha said that Mojo is the name of her new venture “It means talisman/magic/energy.” Keeping up her attack on NDTV, she said that she “launched Mojo @themojo_in shortly after my exit from NDTV, our first few events have happened under this banner- something NDTV aware of.”

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Accusing NDTV of using her brand name, she asked if she could also use the name of her old programme ‘We the People’ for her own show. “If NDTV argues #Mojo generic name then so should be We The People from the Constitution. So NDTV will let me start a show by the same name,” she tweeted adding if the copyright clause only exists for media barons.

Not just We the People, she also asked if she could use the name ‘Buck stops here’ as her show name. “She also said that If #Mojo is a widely used short form, many other words/phrases are generic too-Buck Stops Here, for one. So, can i do a show by same name?”

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Her tweets come in the backdrop of NDTV giving pink slips to nearly 70 people as a part of its restructuring process. NDTV in an official statement said that they would be using “its newsroom and resources to focus on mobile journalism.” However, Barkha claimed how unfortunate it was that the name of her new venture is being used as a reason for the layoffs. “Rather problematic that unfortunate lay-offs be dressed up under borrowed brand name of the company started by an ex-employee.”

While NDTV is emboiled in tax woes currently, Barkha has completely distanced herself from the controversy. In fact, she even retweeted a few posts on social media which blamed NDTV and its promoters Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy for Income Tax Fraud by the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT).

Even in the past when the CBI raided Prannoy Roy’s residence and there was a debate over the freedom of the press, several journalists supported NDTV but Barkha had remained silent.

Meanwhile, attacking Barkha on the issue, her former colleague Nidi Razdan said that the “NDTV India show called ‘Mojo’ was launched before Barkha left. They’ve been doing mobile journalism fully since Nov 2016. But in no mood to let the matter rest, Barkha said “there was no Mobile Journalism in NDTV news rooms while I was there. Pioneers in this are not at all NDTV but @TheQuint.”

Is Barkha’s stand against NDTV and her tweets now a clear indication that the two did not separate on good terms when the star reporter left her mentor company in January 2016? It seems so at least.

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