Last month two magazines decided to publish detailed transcripts from taped conversations between a PR consultant Niira Radia, and Barkha Dutt, Anchor, NDTV, and other journalists, on the formation of the UPA-II government.
According to Lydia Polgreen of the New York Times, New Delhi Television Anchor Barkha Dutt, was one of the several journalists caught on tapes taking to a lobbyist, which were leaked to the media, and published three and half weeks ago. She was then accused of cuddling up to the lobbyist, because she had allegedly agreed to pass messages to the Government.
Through the conversations with Dutt, Radia had the intent of trying to persuade the Indain government to reappoint Andimuthu Raja, a politician caught in the middle of a current telecommunications scandal, according to Polgreen.
Dutt told the New York Times that she was stringing along a news source who had access to information on a fast-moving story, and that in any case she never passed on the messages.
Furthermore, the overall ethical concerns surrounding the Dutt and Radia tapes are, does attaining information from a source in exchange for allegedly satisfying the purpose of the source, go across ethical lines as a conflict of interest.
In addition, another ethical concern revolves around the two magazines decisions to published excerpts of the leaked tapes, and whether publishing were example of infringement upon the privacy of the involved parties.