News portal Huffington Post has abruptly shut down its India operations, announcing Tuesday (24 November) to be its last day in action. The announcement came as a huge shock to many journalists.
The website posted a short statement on its portal. The statement read, “As of November 24 HuffPost India will no longer be publishing content. For more great global content, please visit HuffPost.com. We thank you for your support and readership.”
Its editor-in-chief, Aman Sethi, tweeted, “Today is @huffpostIndia’s last day. Pound for pound, story for story, reporter for reporter, this is the greatest newsroom I have worked for; (and I still can’t quite believe I had the privilege to lead) Thank you everyone for reading our stories and supporting our journalism.”
Journalist Siddharth Vardarajn blamed the Centre’s Narendra Modi government’s new FDI policy for the shocking demise of the news portal. He tweeted, “Modi Diktat on FDI for digital media claims first scalp. @HuffPostIndia shuts shop. When @BuzzFeed bought @HuffPost, it kept Brazil & India out of deal. India was no go because of new FDI cap and regulatory uncertainty. 12 jobs lost to atmanirbhar policy.”
Ankur Pathak, who was the author of some of the pioneering works for the portal, wrote on the microblogging site, “Yes, @HuffPostIndia
is ceasing operations today. Our work will be back on the global site after a migration process. It’s been a dream run with a dream team. Thank you all for the love. Here’s a little note from me :)”
Not too long ago, the Information and Broadcasting ministry of the Indian government had asked news portals to comply with an earlier order restricting only 26% Foreign Direct Investment in digital news and services streaming news or current affairs. The order had demanded compliance from news portals within a month.
In a separate order, the government had brought OTT platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hotstar and digital news platforms under the I&B ministry, giving itself the powers to regulate policies and rules for digital platforms.