|Profession(s)||Journalist, Freelance Reporter, Columnist, Panellist, and Author|
|Physical Stats & More|
|Debut||Trainee Reporter: The Statesman|
|Publications||• September 2016: Daddy's Girl
• December 2016: I Am a Troll: Inside the Secret World of the BJP's Digital Army
|Awards and Honours||2018: London Press Freedom Award for Courage by Reporters Without Borders (RSF)
|Date of Birth||She celebrates her birthday on 7 January every year.|
|Birthplace||Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh|
|College/University||Miranda House, a constituent college at the University of Delhi|
|Educational Qualification||She holds a bachelor's degree from Miranda House, University of Delhi. Twitter Twitter|
|Caste||In September 2020, she took to Twitter to reveal that she belonged to an upper caste community. Twitter|
|Political Inclination||Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Twitter|
|Hobbies||Reading murder mysteries and thrillers
|Controversies||• Police complaint against Twitter trolls: On 10 June 2015, Swati filed an FIR, the first-of-its-kind criminal complaint by an Indian journalist, under sections of the Indian Penal Code that deals with stalking, sexual harassment, transmitting obscene material over the Internet, and outraging the modesty of a woman. Her complaint was against a Twitter handle @lutyensinsider, which had over 40,000 followers. The handle systematically targeted Swati for over six months insinuating that she had a sexual relationship with a politician. Her complaint received a swift response and widespread national and international media coverage. Soon, the accused's Twitter handle was suspended by the social media platform, but no arrest was made. DailyOJuggernaut Books Hindustan Times
• Attacked for calling out Abhijeet Bhattacharya's Tweet: In 2016, Swati called out singer Abhijeet Bhattacharya for his controversial tweet on "love jihad" and said it had the potential to cause riots. In return, the singer hurled a volley of abuses at the journalist. The Twitter brawl was soon followed by vicious trolling of Chaturvedi by several anonymous Twitter handles. Hindustan Times Hindustan Times Almost a year after the incident when Abhijeet didn't stop tweeting offensive and sexist remarks against other women users, his Twitter account got suspended, but the singer returned to the micro-blogging site with a new handle in 2019. India Today
• Tweeted a manipulated image of "sleeping" Amit Shah: In January 2019, Swati tweeted a screenshot of an image of the Indian Home Minister Amit Shah in which she claimed he was ‘sleeping’ during a parliament session. The picture was later found to be manipulated. The screenshot was taken at the moment when Shah was reading some papers on his desk and appeared like he was sleeping.
• Tweeted a fake picture of Narendra Modi: On 24 August 2019, Swati tweeted a morphed picture of the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi wearing an Arabic attire. The original image was tweeted by the Ministry of External Affairs on PM Modi’s arrival at Abu Dhabi in which the PM was not wearing any such Arabic attire.
After the Twitter users called her out for tweeting a fake image of PM Modi, the journalist apologised and deleted her tweet. OpIndia
• Abused journalist Rana Ayyub: Chaturvedi, in March 2020, called out her former "ally" and fellow journalist Rana Ayyub for her controversial tweet related to the coronavirus outbreak in the country. She called Rana an ‘opportunist,’ a ‘vile person,’ and a ‘leper journalist,’ which did not go down well with some Twitter users and Ayyub, too, blocked Swati on Twitter. TFIpost
• Tweeted a picture of PM Modi and his alleged wife: On 15 December 2020, Swati tweeted an image of PM Modi and others with a woman she claimed was PM Modi’s estranged wife Jashodaben. The fact check reports from various news publications revealed that the woman in the image was Alpa Vankawala, daughter of the late former Gujarat's minister Hemant Chapatwala. Swati received a lot of flak on Twitter for this, and later she took down the tweet. Alt News
• Accused of plagiarism: In 2021, Swati was accused of plagiarism, which is a grave sin in the journalism industry. Zia Haq, Associate Editor at Hindustan Times, then accused Swati of allegedly plagiarizing a paragraph of his article. OpIndia
• Note: There are many more tweets and comments made by Swati Chaturvedi that have attracted controversy, especially from the right-wing users. OpIndia
|Relationships & More|
|Parents||Her father is a retired IAS officer.|
Some Lesser Known Facts About Swati Chaturvedi
- Swati Chaturvedi is an Indian print and broadcast journalist, freelance reporter, columnist and panellist for NDTV and Gulf News, and author of two books.
- She started her journalism career as a trainee reporter in the crime beat with The Statesman newspaper and has over 2 decades of experience in the industry.
- According to Swati, her father often discuss current issues with her. She took to Twitter to reveal that she considers her father the calmest man she has ever known.
- Chaturvedi is an investigative journalist who is known for breaking many important news stories, and she has worked in the Special Investigative Bureau of The Indian Express. At the media house, she covered special stories on Delhi Police, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Enforcement Directorate (ED), and The Intelligence Bureau.
- She also contributes regular stories and analyses to The Wire, News Central 24×7, NDTV, and Gulf News. She is also a regular face on television as a political commentator.
- In the early 2000s, Swati was the Deputy Editor of Zee News, and she anchored a show “Kahiye Janab” for 5 years on the channel. In the show, she interviewed many celebrities and politicians including Narendra Modi.
- Swati has also worked for several other Indian newspapers and channels, including The Tribune, Hindustan Times, Deccan Herald, and DailyO, during the course of her journalism career.
- She has been interviewed by some prestigious international media outlets like The Daily Mail, BBC, The Washington Post, Public Radio, The New York Times, The Associated Press, and The Guardian.
- The journalist has an engaging and controversial presence on social media with many of her tweets going viral. Swati is well known for openly criticising the right-wing propagators, and attracting online hate. When she was asked about the consequences of her attitude, and if she feared backlash from the establishment, FactorDaily Swati said,
If the government decides to target me, there’s not much I can do. I have been 20 years a journalist, my personal or professional life are not defined by fear. I am not scared. They are free to do what they want.”
- In September 2016, Swati debuted as an author with her fiction novel “Daddy’s Girl,” published by the Penguin Random House.
- While talking about her debut book, Swati revealed in an article why she wrote Daddy’s Girl, which is largely based on her experiences of extensive on-field reporting. Describing her profession, Swati said, SheThePeople.TV
I still think that the core of all journalism must be to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. The rest is just public relations. It’s not our job to tell the world what good those is power are doing but, to speak truth to power and make it accountable. When people these days attack journalism using filthy terms like “presstitutes” it appals me. Journalism is hard and nerve-wracking and good journalists need to have unlimited courage.”
- Her second book “I Am a Troll: Inside the Secret World of the BJP’s Digital Army,” which came out just three months after the release of her debut novel, highlighted the subject of BJP’s large network of right-wing trolls spread on social media. According to her book, these trolls incite online communal tension and abuse and sexually harass journalists or anyone who question their ideology or their leader. In a conversation about her second book, Swati said, SheThePeople.TV
I am a journalist and not a cheerleader of the government. My job is to bring to light what the government is seeking to hide. Narendra Modi follows only about 1500 people and he has given RTIs as replies which say that he manages his own account. So as a citizen of India, I want to ask the PM- why does he follow abusive trolls who give death threats and rape threats and who have been suspended by twitter? And there have been actual BJP ministers’ hashtags trending to get those accounts back.”
She spent two years reporting on online trolling and conducting thorough investigations including interviews with top politicians, bureaucrats, and trolls to produce this book. Her book “I Am a Troll” fetched her the “Prize for Courage” in 2018 by the Reporters Without Borders. Brut India Instagram
- In October 2020, Swati accused Rana Ayyub of plagiarism and started a Twitter war. She referred to Ayyub as ‘PMO India stooge’ in The Washington Post and started a debate of tweets. OpIndia
- Allegedly, Swati was also one of the journalists who was selected for surveillance in the highly controversial and massive Pegasus Data Leak of 2021. Forbidden Stories Haaretz