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Barkha Dutt: Charting a Pioneer’s Course in Indian Media


Barkha Dutt, synonymous with fearless journalism and a trailblazer in the Indian media landscape, has woven an enduring legacy in the industry. From her formative days at NDTV to her current venture, ‘MoJo Story,’ Dutt’s career is a rich tapestry adorned with accolades, controversies, and an unwavering commitment to shedding light on crucial issues. Her estimated net worth ranges between $1 Million – $5 Million.

Early Life and Education

Born in New Delhi to S. P. Dutt, an Air India official, and Prabha Dutt, a trailblazing journalist with the Hindustan Times, Barkha Dutt’s destiny in journalism was apparent from the outset. Raised in an environment where her mother was breaking barriers in the field, Dutt attributes her journalistic acumen to her pioneering mother.

Dutt pursued her education at St. Stephen’s College, Delhi, graduating with a degree in English literature. She further honed her skills by obtaining a Master’s in Mass Communications from Jamia Millia Islamia Mass Communication Research Center, New Delhi, and a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, New York.

Journalistic Prowess and Kargil Conflict Reporting

Barkha Dutt’s career soared when she joined NDTV, eventually heading the English news wing. However, it was her groundbreaking reporting during the Kargil Conflict in 1999 that thrust her into national and international prominence. Particularly, her interview with Captain Vikram Batra became emblematic of her dedication to frontline war reporting.

Over the years, Dutt’s journalistic ventures led her to conflict zones in Kashmir, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iraq, showcasing her courage in covering some of the most pivotal global events.

Controversies and Challenges

Despite her achievements, Dutt has weathered criticism and controversy. During the 2002 Gujarat violence, her identification of attackers and victims based on their religious affiliations on live television sparked controversy and violated guidelines set by the Press Council of India.

The 2008 Mumbai attacks also brought scrutiny, with Dutt accused of sensationalising events on live television, potentially jeopardising lives. She faced criticism for an alleged display of over-the-top nationalism in her reporting of the Kargil conflict and for purportedly soft-pedalling Hindutva.

The most notable controversy was the 2010 Radia tapes scandal, where Dutt’s conversations with Nira Radia became the face of the tapes controversy. Dutt defended herself on a televised program, acknowledging an “error of judgment” but denying any wrongdoing.

Diverse Roles and Awards

Dutt’s tenure at NDTV spanned 21 years, during which she hosted the award-winning talk show We The People and the daily prime-time show ‘The Buck Stops Here.’ Serving as the group editor of NDTV before transitioning to the role of consulting editor in 2015, she amassed numerous awards, including the Indian Television Academy Award for Best Talk Show for five consecutive years. The Indian government honoured her with the Padma Shri in 2008 for her coverage of the 2004 tsunami.

Dutt’s extensive coverage during the COVID-19 Migration Crisis, documenting the challenges faced by migrant workers, underscored her commitment to socially relevant journalism.

Digital Venture and Beyond

In her pursuit of new frontiers, Dutt founded her own digital news channel, ‘MoJo Story.’ Her columns in The Hindustan Times and The Washington Post provide a platform for her insightful opinions.

Despite controversies and challenges, Barkha Dutt remains an influential figure in Indian journalism. Her fearless pursuit of truth, commitment to social causes, and groundbreaking reporting have solidified her legacy as one of India’s most celebrated journalists. As she continues to evolve in the ever-changing media landscape, Dutt’s impact on shaping public discourse remains unparalleled.



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