Exclusive Scoop Whoop

Scoop Whoop

Founded in 2013 by five alumni of Indian Institute of Mass Communication, ScoopWhoop is a digital media and news organization based in Delhi, which publishes India-specific stories. The start-up received an investment of Rs. 10 crore a year later from Bharti Softbank, a joint venture between Bharti Enterprises and Japan’s SoftBank. 


By Cobrapost.com - March 26, 2018


Founded in 2013 by five alumni of Indian Institute of Mass Communication, ScoopWhoop is a digital media and news organization based in Delhi, which publishes India-specific stories. The start-up received an investment of Rs. 10 crore a year later from Bharti Softbank, a joint venture between Bharti Enterprises and Japan’s SoftBank. It is reported that the site has been consistently getting over 3 million shares on social media every month.

Pushp Sharma met Digital Strategist Vidushi Dora and her colleague Akash in their office in Delhi and began apprising them of his agenda. As both begin to tell him about their skills as an organization, Pushp Sharma asks them if they could create a satirical web series on Pappu, Bua and Babua. These are our political rivals, he explains them further, and we are targeting the campaing for 2019 elections.  After the first phase of soft Hindutva playing on the preaching of Bhagwad Gita and Lord Krishna, you will create and post content targeting our political rivals like Pappu. Now tell me who is Pappu? Akash knows it and replies: “Rahul Gandhi.” And when Akash is asked who is Bua, he appreciating says: “Got it so I want to go more direct in second phase.” Encouraging him, Sharma asks what they can do for his campaign. Akash says: “So we can actually directly work because brand plug-in we use to brands itself very subtle. So that the audience you know understand …”

But before he finishes, Vidushi interjects: “Actually, the fact is we as a publication we won’t be able to take political stand, honestly.” But then you may also not be able to take a religious stand, probes the journalist further. “We don’t know. So we won’t be taking a religious ground,” informs Vidushi again. Then, the journalist protests, it means you will not work for our mission of promoting Bhagwad Gita. Assuring Sharma that promotion of Gita’s preaching is fine and they will definitely like to work on that, Vidushi again says: “But on political stand honestly like I don’t think we can take the decision right now. We have to check internally.” As Sharma tries to bring both around agreeing to his agenda, telling them they can do it by creating memes on Rahul Gandhi, Vidushi agrees to find a middle path. But when Sharma suggests that while designing content for his campaign on their platform, they can package nationalism with character assassination so that when 2019 elections arrive we are able to do a lot of muck raking on our rivals.

Vidushi is not sanguine when she says: “Wahan tak toh pata nahi kitna help kar payenge in the end (I don’t if we will be able to help you that far in the end).”

However, Vidushi should have had no doubt about her organization’s policy had she ever had the occasion to discuss the same with her bosses as did the journalist, who met two of its founders, CEO Satvik and Rishi Pratim Mukherjee. In this meeting, which took place in a Delhi hotel, it was Satvik who did most of the talking. As the journalist briefs them on his agenda how he wants to reap political dividends by swaying Hindu votes in favour of the party in power through this media campaign, he asks them if they have any questions. Satvik begins to describe how his portal can be of use to their prospective client and seeks to know who his audience will be: “Nahi Sir question toh nahi hai dekhiye humara kaafi bada user base hai … toh sir karne mein it won’t be difficult for us … itna bada user base engagement hai teen crore log parhte hain chalees crore log engage karte hain har mahine but ek clarity wo mil jayegi wo thought wo kaun readership hai (No, Sir. We have no questions. You see we have very big user base … So, it won’t be difficult for us to do … we have such a big user base … engagement. Every month 3 crore people read us and 40 crore people engage with us. But if you know which readership you are aiming for, it would bring clarity to our thought).” Sharma now comes straight to talking about his agenda, one by one. First, the campaign will promote soft Hindutva through preachings of Bhagwad Gita and Lord Krishna. Satvik says: “Bilkul ho jayega (It will be done).” The reason for his prompt reply is that his portal also runs mythology content and has both English and Hindi sections which works well.

Now, Sharma shifts to his political agenda. What about doing and playing Pappu jingles? “If you are doing in smart way … har cheej mumkin ho sakta hai (If you are doing in smart way … everything is possible),” we hear Satvik say. Appreciating his approach, the journalist asks them to play jingles on Pappu, Bua and Babua. Looks like Satvik understands the job very well to proffer: “Ek baar voice samajh mein aa jaata hai na ki iss tareh kar rahe hain toh uske baad usko amplified karne mein koi problem nahi hoti (Once you understand the voice well how it has been done, then you have no problem to make it amplified).” Referring to Rahul Gandhi, Sharma now tells that being a political rival he has to be attacked. He has to be countered. We receive a cool reply from Satvik on this too: “[I] Understood, understood … right from fun to long-format documentary type videos kaafi kuch ho sakta hai (many things can be done) and the good thing we completely understand what your requirements are and like I said that there is line between things we don’t cross. Do it in a smart way. I think it should very doable.”

Doing things in a smart way is his mantra! To see reactions of concerned person click here


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