Journalist Arnab Goswami’s soon-to-be launched news channel Republic TV has been served a legal notice by his former employer The Times Group over use of the phrase “nation wants to know”.
The Times Group runs the English language news channels ‘Times Now’ and ‘ET Now’ and publishes ‘The Times of India’ and ‘The Economic Times newspapers’.
Arnab Ranjan Goswami, is an Indian journalist and a popular television news anchor.He is the managing director and co-founder of the upcoming news channel,Republic TV, to be launched in 2017.
Arnab Goswami, who recently announced the launch of his new news venture ‘Republic’, uploaded a three-minute audio clip on Youtube on Monday, claiming to have received a legal notice from a media group. Goswami said the media group threatened him with imprisonment if he uses the phrase ‘nation wants to know’.
In a three-minute audio clip posted on YouTube, Goswami claimed that he has been served with yet another legal threat and this time for using the aforementioned phrase.
“A media group has sent me a six-page letter threatening me with imprisonment if I ever use the phrase ‘Nation wants to know’. They say that they own the phrase,” said Goswami, in the clip without naming the media group.
Arnab daringly said,”The threat of imprisonment will not deter me. Bring your moneybags and your lawyers, file the criminal case against me for using the phrase ‘Nation Wants to Know’. Do everything you can, spend all the money you have and arrest me. I am waiting right now in my studio floor. Come, enforce your threat.”
Goswami said he had used the phrase ‘nation wants to know’ with pride during his reporting and debates for the past 20 years and he was deeply indebted to the viewers, who had found his journalism worthy of representing the public interest. He added that every Indian had a right to use the phrase and that this phrase ‘nation wants to know’ comes from the heart.
HT Media Ltd, the publisher of Mint and Hindustan Times, competes with The Times Group in some markets.
Goswami was using the catch phrase ‘Nation wants to know’ on his popular prime time show Newshour on Times Now till he quit the company on 1 November 2016. He was the president and editor-in-chief of news channels Times Now and ET Now.
The line, which gained huge popularity during Goswami’s time at Times Now, became one of the catchphrases associated with Goswami and was widely used by his critics and supporters to comment upon Goswami’s noisy and fiery-brand of debate in the studios.
In the YouTube clip, Goswami further said that the threat of imprisonment will not deter him and that he has been using the phrase for the last 20 years throughout his reporting career.
In a surprising move, former NDTV journalist Barkha Dutt who has often crossed words with Arnab sided with him over the issue saying it was unfair for media owners to “force-own copyright of shows created and nurtured by individuals”.
Some commentators have criticized Goswami for his style of TV panel discussion.Caravan magazine editor Hartosh Singh Bal referred to Arnab Goswami’s anchoring as “scripted drama and he’s often happy to a play a role.”
Goswami’s heated discussions during ‘The Newshour’ has invited criticism from newsweekly Outlook running a cover story titled ‘The Man Who Killed TV News’.”Newshour is where Arnab plays judge, the audience the jury”, the report stated, adding that “On key news events, Arnab has emerged as The Great Polariser, his acid tongue stripping complex issues of all nuance”
“ARG Outliers had filed for trademark for these and similar phrases which were already filed for and extensively used for years by Times Now. We have responded with a standard caution notice. He (Arnab) is just trying to gain soundbytes from it,” said a spokesperson for the Times Network, when contacted for comments.
Republic is a part of a company called ARG Outlier Media Pvt. Ltd, of which Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar is the biggest investor.