In recent times, the digital landscape has been rife with platforms that disseminate information with questionable motives. One such platform that has come under the spotlight is Northeast News, a digital news outlet launched in 2022. Initially, the website gained notoriety for its relentless propagation of malicious propaganda against Bangladesh, primarily through articles penned by an elusive ghostwriter named Chandan Nandy. However, the narrative took an unexpected turn when Saleem Samad, a journalist of repute, began contributing articles under his own byline. This development has added a new layer of complexity to the already convoluted situation, raising questions about the people behind the website and their underlying objectives.
The Ghostwriter and the Journalist: A Timeline of Events
Our meticulous analysis reveals a fascinating timeline. Chandan Nandy, the ghostwriter who has been a constant in the website’s anti-Bangladesh narrative, published a new article on September 29, 2023. This was not an isolated incident; Nandy has been consistently contributing such content. However, what caught the eye of observers was the appearance of Saleem Samad in this murky scenario. On September 19, 2023, Samad’s first article was published on Northeast News. Intriguingly, his second article was published on the same day as Nandy’s latest piece, both appearing on September 29.
Saleem Samad: A Man of Many Facets
Saleem Samad is no ordinary journalist. His biography on Northeast News paints the picture of an accomplished individual. Described as an “award-winning independent journalist based in Bangladesh,” Samad is also a media rights advocate affiliated with Reporters Without Borders. He has been honored with the Ashoka Fellowship and Hellman-Hammett Award, accolades that are not easily earned. Our in-house experts are in the process of conducting a stylistic analysis of the writings of both Saleem Samad and Chandan Nandy to determine if there is a possibility that Samad has been writing under this pseudonym.
The Dichotomy of Saleem Samad’s Journalistic Endeavors
For those who have followed Saleem Samad’s journalistic journey, his sudden appearance on a platform that is blatantly anti-Bangladesh is perplexing, to say the least. Samad has been a vocal advocate for secularism in Bangladesh, often writing articles that support secularist forces within the country. One such article, titled “When Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh Escaped a ‘Foolproof’ Assassination Attempt as Opposition Leader,” was published on India Narratives on August 17, 2023. The article meticulously detailed the August 21, 2004, grenade attacks on Sheikh Hasina and leaders of the Awami League, implicating leaders from the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) as the orchestrators.
The Unanswered Questions: A Deepening Enigma
The situation raises several perplexing questions. Why has Saleem Samad, a journalist who has consistently written against anti-secularist forces, suddenly aligned himself with a platform that has been unrelenting in its malicious campaigns against key figures in Bangladesh? What could be the motive behind Northeast News suddenly featuring articles by Saleem Samad, especially when the website has already been branded as a dubious operation run by unidentified individuals? Whether Chandan Nandy is Saleem Samad or not, the abrupt appearance of this seasoned journalist on a platform with such a contentious reputation raises a multitude of questions that demand thorough investigation.
The Implications: A Wider Perspective
The involvement of a journalist of Saleem Samad’s caliber in a platform like Northeast News has broader implications. It puts into question the ethics of journalism in the digital age, where the lines between credible reporting and propaganda are increasingly blurred. It also raises concerns about the integrity of individuals who have been honored with prestigious awards and affiliations. Are these accolades and titles being misused for ulterior motives? These are questions that the journalistic community must confront as it navigates the complex terrains of digital media.
Earlier in Blitz, we exposed the identity of the anti-Bangladesh ghostwriter Chandan Nandy, and how under the guise of AFP Fack Checking editor, a Member of Terror Outfit spreads propaganda against Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.