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Journalism

Turning politics into theatre

Tweets by an international pop star—five words, one hashtag, a linked article—and a teenage climate activist on India's farmer protests have rattled thin-skinned Indians. What an irony: A citizenry perennially subjected to state-sponsored propaganda is tweeting #IndiaAgainstPropaganda. Liberal critics, unsurprisingly, are outraged at this mass reaction and calling

Turning politics into theatre

Journalists refer to themselves as storytellers. Is that a mistake?

"Facts come in the way of beautiful prose," a colleague at the Wall Street Journal told me during my 2018 fellowship at the newspaper. It stayed with me. Every time I ponder over the limitations of journalistic methods to understand the world, I think about it. Especially in the last

Thoughts and observations on data journalism in India

Today, I complete five years in journalism: one year at The Hindu (my first job, straight out of university), two years at the Hindustan Times—which overlapped with a five-month fellowship at the Wall Street Journal—and two years as a freelancer. 'Data journalist' was my official job description in

Thoughts and observations on data journalism in India

Why the event-oriented structure of news doesn't help in understanding how the world works

In 2020, I significantly reduced the proportion of daily news consumption in my information diet. And I strongly recommend the same to others: less of news and more of books. There are many reasons why, and I will list them in a future post. Here is one compelling argument from

How interlinked economic and political forces create self-censorship in Indian media

Most contemporary discussions on press freedom begin with some sort of rankings: X country slipped Y positions on Z index—that’s evidence something wrong is happening. This makes headlines every year in India, as we continue to slip down in these indices. Criminal defamation cases are filed against journalists

How interlinked economic and political forces create self-censorship in Indian media

Indian Govt Trots Out Meaningless Data As COVID-19 Cases Rocket Despite Lockdown

The Indian government is using incomplete national-level data to justify arbitrary policy decisions, defend its record, and underplay the extent of the COVID-19 crisis.

Indian Govt Trots Out Meaningless Data As COVID-19 Cases Rocket Despite Lockdown

Why India is falling behind in the Y2Q race

Encryption forms the backbone of secure cyberspace. It helps to protect the data we send, receive or store. Behind the high degree of confidence in the security of the most commonly used encryption algorithms, like RSA, lies an assumption: modern computers, including the fastest supercomputers, will take forever to factor

Why India is falling behind in the Y2Q race

India’s proposed data protection act, explained

India’s parliamentarians must deliberate on the shortcomings of this bill. And if they want to empower individuals, they need to cede some of their own powers

India’s proposed data protection act, explained

India’s fake news challenge

Many of India’s misinformation campaigns are developed and run by political parties with nationwide cyberarmies.

India’s fake news challenge

Fighting fake news: Decoding ‘fact-free’ world of WhatsApp

We collected data from over 2000 politics-focussed public WhatsApp groups in the run-up to 2018 December assembly elections to identify themes that get viral in India’s “fake news” ecosystem. We report three key findings in the Hindustan Times. NEW: @gvrkiran and I collected data from over 2000 politics-focussed public

Fighting fake news: Decoding ‘fact-free’ world of WhatsApp