Here’s Why Arnab Goswami’s Newshour Was Found Guilty of Bias

The Newshour, the much-talked-about debate show aired on Times Now that was earlier anchored by Arnab Goswami, has been found guilty of an anti-Pakistan bias by a United Kingdom broadcast regulator. Goswami has since quit as editor-in-chief of the news channel.

Also Read: UK Broadcast Regulator Finds Times Now Guilty of Biased Coverage

After studying several episodes of the show that were broadcast in August-September 2016, when tension between India and Pakistan were simmering, UK broadcast regulator Ofcom found many instances where the Pakistani view point was not given appropriate representation.

Here are a few of the instances that the report found contentious:

Debate on Militants Syed Salahuddin, Hafiz Saeed

(Photo: Liju Joseph/The Quint)

In a debate aired on on 1 August 2016 about a march to the Wagah border by Pakistani militants Syed Salahuddin and Hafiz Saeed, Arnab Goswami told Mufti Nasir Ul Islam, Deputy Grand Mufti of Jammu & Kashmir, that Islam was “beholden to the Pakistanis and that he “will not allow this channel to become an instrument for your venom”.

To this, Mufti Nasir Ul Islam angrily replied, “ I don’t want to be a part of this”.

Watch the video here.

Discussion on Pak Censoring Rajnath Singh's Speech


(Photo: Liju Joseph/The Quint)

In August last year, when Pakistan blacked out Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s address at the SAARC home ministers' meet in Islamabad, here’s what Arnab said to a Pakistani guest, barrister Zahid Saheed, in a debate that was conducted on August 4:

Arnab: The Pakistanis don’t want to allow Rajnath Singh’s words to be heard on Pakistan television because you’re damn scared.

Zahid Saheed: I’m trying to explain. Can you please keep quiet please for a few minutes?

Arnab: Absolute lies! How can you lie on Indian television like that, sir?

Watch the video here.

Discussion on India’s Alleged Involvement in Balochistan

(Photo: Liju Joseph/The Quint)

In a debate that was aired on August 8,2016, Arnab sided with Amir Mustaqim, a Balochi panellist who was critical of Pakistan’s policy on Balochistan, and gave little opportunity to the Pakistani panellist, retired Group Captain Sultan Ali Hali.

Amir Mustaqim: Why shouldn’t India be involved in Balochistan? I say it is the right of India!

Arnab to Sultan Ali Hali: [Shouting] Answer him, Ambassador, answer him!

Sultan Ali Hali: Do you know the lines of diplomacy? If India supports Balochistan openly, this will amount to intervention...”

Arnab: “[Shouting] What about Kashmir?

Sultan Ali Hali: “Kashmir is a disputed area”

Arnab: “Oh for God’s sake! For God’s sake

Watch the video here.

Debating Whether "Pakistani Apologists" Should Continue To "Parrot Pak Line Post Uri"

(Photo: Liju Joseph/The Quint)

On 22 September 2016, Arnab accused a Supreme Court advocate, Shabnam Lone, of being a “Pakistani apologist” and called her a hypocrite for allegedly toeing the Pakistani line on Indian soil.

Aranbat to Lone: Do you condemn Nawaz Sharif using his UN speech to describe Burhan Wani as a peace icon?

Arnab: Shabnam Lone’s inability to answer that straightforward reflects the hypocrisy of the pro-Pakistan brigade in India

Watch the video here.

In its investigation, Ofcom found that Goswami’s method of presenting issues between India-Pakistan violated its Rule 5.9 since even though anchor presenters and reporters of “personal view” may express their views of matters of politics, “alternative viewpoints must be adequately represented either in the programme”.

It also noted that the television presenters “must not use the advantage of regular appearances to promote their views in a way that compromises the requirement for due impartiality”.

Defending its editorial calls, but distancing itself from Goswami, Times Now told Ofcom that the show has ensured that the debates had “a representative selection of guests who represent the varying key views, for and against, on the issue(s) being debated”. Goswami, meanwhile, is set to come out with his new channel, Republic TV.