Journalists shared pictures of a Rs 500 note that was placed in the press kit handed out at the event, where Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi and Education Minister K Ponmudi were present.

The envelope with Rs 500 note given to journalists at Bharathiyar University convocationSpecial arrangement
news Controversy Friday, May 13, 2022 - 15:49

Journalists covering the 37th convocation at Bharathiyar University in Coimbatore on Friday, May 13, alleged that the university tried to bribe them Rs 500 each. Journalists at the event shared pictures of a Rs 500 note placed in the press kit handed out to them at the event, where Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi was also present. 

The incident happened at the University’s 37th convocation ceremony held on the morning of Friday, May 13. Governor RN Ravi handed out degree certificates to the students as the Chancellor of the university. During the ceremony, journalists who were present at the function were handed press kits, and inside each kit was an envelope, from the registrar of the university. Inside each envelope was a Rs 500 note journalists said, sharing pictures of the same on social media. The envelope was neatly placed along with other documents that were distributed to the journalists as a press kit. 

The Coimbatore Press Club has condemned the issue and sought strict action against those who distributed money to journalists. They have also demanded an open apology from the university to the reporters who covered the event.

"This is unusual. There were some incidents where journalists took bribes. But we haven't seen anything like this in an open place, and to all the journalists,” said a journalist who attended the convocation ceremony. "University never gave bribes to the journalists during the convocations, in the past. This is totally strange and we hope that the management will come up with an explanation of this irresponsible behaviour," he adds. 

"Inside the press kit, they put Rs 500 in the cover. We are waiting for the convocation to get over. After only, we will get the official information on the reason behind the ‘cover’ and what was the intention of it,” another journalist who also present at the event told TNM. 

Coimbatore Press Club secratariat member Babu told TNM that this "bribing trend” has increased in recent times. 

“There are people who have smartphones and the ability to take good photos, who call themselves journalists and participate in such events for the money that the organizers provide. Sometimes people allege that journalists are getting bribes and so they write stories in favour of those who offer money. We don't pay much heed to those critics. But, today the amount was inserted in a press kit at the event where the Minister for Higher Education, K Ponmudi, and Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi were also present. Is Bharathiyar university forcing every honest journalist to take a bribe? This is totally unacceptable and we need an explanation.”

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