WATCHDOG REPORTS

Aadhaar data leak report: Editors Guild condemns FIR against journalist, seeks govt intervention

The Unique Identification Authority of India has registered an police case against The Tribune newspaper and its reporter Rachna Khaira following her investigative report on how anonymous sellers over WhatsApp were allegedly providing access to Aadhaar numbers for a fee. The apex body of editors the Editors Guild of India, has sought government intervention for the withdrawal of an FIR. "The Guild condemns UIDAI's action to have The Tribune reporter booked by the police as it is clearly meant to browbeat a journalist whose investigation on the matter was of great public interest,” the Editors Guild said in a press release. “It is unfair, unjustified and a direct attack on the freedom of the press.” Source: TOI


All 18 accused in 2G scam verdict acquitted

Pronouncing judgment in the 2G spectrum scam case, a special CBI court in Delhi concluded that no irregularities could be proved in any of the cases prosecuted by the CBI and the ED against any accused. The scam came to light almost seven years ago when the Comptroller and Auditor General or CAG in a report held then Telecom Minister A Raja responsible for causing the state exchequer a loss of Rs 1,76,379 crore by allocating 2G spectrum licenses at throwaway prices.


Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Awards announced

Twenty seven journalists from various Indian publications bagged the prestigious Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Awards for outstanding work in 2016. The awards come with a trophy and a reward of Rs 1 lakh to each of the winners and recognise courage and commitment and showcase the outstanding contributions of journalists from across India. Among those who were awarded are Ritu Sarin from the Indian Express, Ravish Kumar from NDTV India and Sreenivasan Jain from NDTV 24*7 for Investigative Reporting. The awards were presented by Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu.


Maharashtra most corrupt state in India: NCRB data

Maharashtra has earned itself the dubious distinction of being the “most corrupt state” of India for the third year in a row. The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data revealed that there were 1,016 cases of corruption registered in 2016 in the state, while Odisha was second on the list with 569 cases. Of the total corruption cases in India, 22.9% were from Maharashtra. Odisha is followed by Kerala (430), Madhya Pradesh (402) and Rajasthan (387).  Source: Hindustan Times


One prisoner commits suicide every month in UP jails, RTI reveals

On an average, one prisoner commits suicide in jails of Uttar Pradesh every month. According to the state prison department's response to an RTI query, since 2013, more than 50 prisoners have committed suicide in the state. Of them, more than 80% were undertrials. Source: ToI


Paradise Papers: Biggest data leak reveals trails of India’s corporates in global secret tax havens

Among the 180 countries represented in the data, India ranks 19th in terms of the number of names. In all, there are 714 Indians in the tally. The year-long probe led by ICIJ is based on a cache of 13.4 million leaked files from 19 secrecy jurisdictions and two offshore providers, Appleby and Asiaciti. The documents were obtained by German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung and shared with more than 380 journalists in more than 65 countries. 

Source: Indian Express


No black money data available post demonetisation, says RBI to RTI query

An RTI query has revealed that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has processed 9,711.62 million demonetised notes of Rs 500 and 4,709.72 million of Rs 1,000 notes. The central bank also said that it doesn’t have any data on counterfeit notes, according to Times of India report. Source: Financial Express 


65 RTI activists murdered since 2005 in India

More than 65 RTI activists were killed and close to 400 harassed or intimidated in different part of the country since 2005. It has been twelve years since India joined other countries in providing its citizens right to information, with the National Right to Information Act coming into force in 2005. The Act enables citizens to access information from various public authorities including legislature, judiciary and executive, and that applies to state, local and central governments. There have been increasing number of attacks on activists who tried to use the transparency law in order to expose the corrupt. Source: YourStory 


A Look At Recent Responses To Investigative Journalism In India

On 8 October, the news website The Wire published a report on the financial growth of Temple Enterprise Private Limited, a company owned by Jay Shah, the son of the national president of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Amit Shah. The report stated that, according to its filings with the registrar of companies, the turnover of Jay’s company “increased 16,000 times over in the year following the election of Narendra Modi as prime minister and the elevation of his father to the post of party president.”  The Caravan reports this is not the first case in which a lawsuit was filed against a journalist or a publication for doing investigative journalism in the country. Source: The Caravan


Journalist Gauri Lankesh murder: India ranks 136 out of 180 countries in press freedom

The murder of senior journalist and editor Gauri Lankesh in her home in Bengaluru has brought the focus back on the perilous conditions journalists in India work in. India was ranked a lowly 136 among 180 countries in the latest world press freedom rankings released in April with the dismal performance blamed on “Modi’s nationalism” and growing “self-censorship” in the mainstream media. India slipped three places as compared to the year before. India was ranked just three places above Pakistan and was one notch below violence-torn Palestine. India’s neighbours Bhutan and Nepal were placed at 84th and 100th rank, respectively.​ Via Hindustan Times


50 Amazing Free Data Sources You Should Know

Here is a list of 50 publicly available websites that provide data on government, global issues, scholarly articles, social media, marketing, science, journalism, media and more


Investigative Journalism Manual, KAS

Investigative journalism can be time-consuming, expensive and risky. And often, investigative journalists need to convince their editors that it is worth undertaking when day-to-day events can produce a perfectly satisfactory newspaper. So why is investigative journalism worthwhile, and what are the primary objections to it? Click here to read the Investigative Journalism Manual.


Watchdog Reports is done in collaboration with the Global Investigative Journalism Network, an association of more than 100 groups in 50 countries.

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