DNA (Daily News and Analysis)
136-Part-1

DNA (Daily News and Analysis)

cobrapost |
March 26, 2018

Launched in 2005 and published simultaneously from Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Pune, Jaipur, Bangalore and Indore, DNA is second most-read English newspaper in Mumbai. A joint venture of Zee and Dainik Bhaskar groups, the newspaper has a circulation of 456,000 in Mumbai.


Launched in 2005 and published simultaneously from MumbaiAhmedabadPuneJaipurBangalore and Indore, DNA is second most-read English newspaper in Mumbai. A joint venture of Zee and Dainik Bhaskar groups, the newspaper has a circulation of 456,000 in Mumbai. No mean a feat, it shows its popularity among Mubaikars, especially in an age where space for news in print is shrinking by the day. DNA in a matter of a decade or so may have earned for itself a reputation as a newspaper. Pushp Sharma decided to check if the DNA marketing officials cared so much as to defend this reputation and say no to his proposition.

Shockingly, he was not disappointed as both Arun Shinde and his colleague Aradhya Kulshrestha were bend all rules to please their prospective client with deep pockets. To check if they were talking to him in the capacity of taking decisions on their own, Sharma sort of throwing tantrums asks them to let him meet someone who is superior and whose word carries weight. Kulshrestha put his worries to rest when she says: “So I am the sole person when it comes to the surrogate content marketing or surrogate …” Reassured thus Sharma now briefs them on his agenda: promotion of soft Hindutva, promotion of speeches of firebrand Hindutva leaders like Vinay Katiyar and Mohan Bhagwat and character assassination of Rahul Gandhi, Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav by caricaturing them. While he is brifing them, we hear both Shinde and Kulshrestha saying “Yeah yeah”, “Okay”, “correct” and so on, perfectly understanding what he wanted them to do. After he is through with his briefing, Sharma asks them categorically if they got his point. Replies Kulshrestha: “I have.” What about profiling our firebrand Hindutva leaders by posting their speeches on YouTube and social media?

Shinde replies: “We will do it parallel so …” Yes, parellaly, the journalist tells them, in a combo. Kulshrestha understands the requirement to say: “Going to be on all the patterns so if you are running anything on print it will be there on digital and will be there on other platform as well.” That settled, Sharma now tells them they will have to bash Rahul Gandhi, Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav by printing or posting content that caricatures them using their nicknames Pappu, Bua and Babua. Both agree to do that. Discussing the mode of payment, Sharma asks them if they can accept a big part of payment in cash. Yes, says Shinde, “We will figure that out.” So, how will you do the next phase of the campaign, Sharma asks. Here is what Shinde promises to do: “We will design this first we will work out on this campaign will again meet … Will share the concepts with you … and then we will take it forward.”

That assured, Sharma now tells them the third phase of the campaign will overtly promote Hindutva in order to polarize the electorate. Listen to him with undivided attention, we hear Shined to say “Understood,” while Kulshrestha seconds her colleague with a “theek hai (Okay).”

Pushp Sharma also met Zee Synergy Chief Revenue Officer Rajat Kumar, who also looks after the functioning of DNA. He is an old media hand and knows well tricks of the trade. As the journalist briefs him about his agenda, Rajat chooses first to tell who he is, where he has worked in the past and how he can strategize a campaign. So, we come to know that he has seen many political campaigns and has worked on media campaigns of all governments to help them create a positive image before the public. Here he gives an example of the advice he claims to have given to the media advisor of Maharahtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on the resurgent Dalits after the Koregaon episode. Hear what he says: “Toh maine kaha ki aap agar usko barhane doge toh ek naya Hardik Patel khada hoga theek hai … lekin uske liye achanak se aap sochoge kuch kar doge toh nahi ho payega … abhi se aapko kaam karna padega aur kaam karna padega Daliton ke liye. Aapko kuch aisa face dikhana padega ki aap Dalit ko poore samaaj ko connect kar rahe ho thoda sa unko confusion mein daalna hoga pehle fir dheere dheere wo aapki taraf aayenge (So, I told him that if you allowed the [Dalit] movement, then another Hardik Patel may be born … but if you think you can do something about it immediately, it is not possible … you will have to work for Dalits immediately. You will have to prop up a face which will connect with the entire Dalit community. First, you will have to create confusion among them and then they will gradually come over to you).” A stratagem indeed!

Appreciating his strategic approach, the journalist now tells Rajat that he has already briefed his colleague on his agenda and hoped he is well aware of the same. Replies Rajat in affirmative: “Main samajh gaya … baat ho gai thee (I got it … he has told me).” You know what I am tasked with is no less a yagna and I need you help to make it a success, Sharma exhorts the Zee Sybergy CRO. Rajat reassures promptly: “Bilkul main ismein bahut yuddh gati se kaam karta hoon (Sure, I will work on it on a war footing).” To see reactions of concerned person click here


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