NewsX journalists posed as students in debate over CAA

Last Updated 27 December 2019, 09:53 IST

On December 19, NewsX conducted a debate on the nationwide student protest against Citizens Amendment Act (CAA). The 57-minute debate, titled ‘Young students on CAA, Let’s solve this CAA Warzone’ is available on YouTube.

On December 20, Twitter user @theotherdemon02 alleged that NewsX posed some of its journalists as students during the show. “ANI moment for #NewsX channel. NewsX panel posts own journalists as students, 4 of the 6 people on the panel are from the channel, and speaking against the interest of real students,” he wrote.


Alt News reached out to a former NewsX employee (identity concealed at request) who could immediately identify two guests on the panel as current journalists with the channel – Arshiya Bhalla and Srishti Goel. According to the source, both Arshiya and Shristi work for NewsX digital team.

Did NewsX introduce Arshiya Bhalla and Srishti Goel as students?

While introducing the panellists, anchor Devika Chopra said, “…I have with me, several students in the studio right now…” As a result, the viewers were likely to believe that all the guests on the show were students.

The second “guest” was Arshiya Bhalla. While introducing her at 5:20, Chopra said, “Arshiya Bhalla also joins us…” NewsX subsequently introduced her as a student at 5:54. However, later in video Bhalla was addressed as a ‘professional’ or ‘young professional.’

As per Bhalla’s comments during the show, it seems she doesn’t approve the protests. Her last words on the debate appropriated PM’s statement – “identify people from their clothes.” [Translated from – कपड़ों से पहचानो]

At 8.30, Devika Chopra introduced the third “guest” Shristi Goel. “I also have Shristi Goel who is a Jamia student with me on the broadcast,” the anchor stated. At 8:39, Goel opened her statements with, “First of all, as you said I’m a Jamia student…” and expressed her views on the anti-CAA protest in the varsity.

On-screen, NewsX introduced Goel for the first time at 10:12 as a ‘Jamia student.’ Just like Bhalla, in the latter part of the show, Goel was addressed as a ‘professional’ or a ‘young professional.’

During the show, Goel came across as a person who believes in citizens’ right to protest. She also expressed concerns with NRC, however, said that the government should have been prepared like they were for Kashmir.

Are Arshiya Bhalla and Srishti Goel NewsX journalists?
Alt News found Arshiya Bhalla and Srishti Goel anchoring a segment for NewsX YouTube live on December 22. Bhalla can be seen on ‘Bigg Boss 13 Live : Weekend Ka Vaar – Episode – 82‘. According to her Facebook and LinkedIn profiles, she currently works at NewsX.

Both Bhalla and Goel have author profiles on the NewsX website.

It is noteworthy that Goel was first identified as ‘Sristi’ (refer to screenshot 2) during the length of the show but the channel later changed the spelling to ‘Shristi’ (at 14:50), which matches with her spelling on NewsX website.

Goel can be seen anchoring ‘Bigg Boss 13 Live : 17th December Full Episode‘ for NewsX.

NewsX therefore placed two of its journalists as students during a discussion on protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act. The debate, broadcast as ‘Hear the students’, had individuals from the organisation posing as student voices on the controversial legislation. Alt News tried contacting NewsX via email and phone but we are yet to get to a response.

(This report was originally filed by Alt News)

(Published 27 December 2019, 09:53 IST)

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