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International

Journalist Razdan says Harvard teaching offer was a sham

January 16, 2021 05:02 AM

COURTESY HT JAN 16

Journalist Razdan says Harvard teaching offer was a sham

Nidhi Razdan
HT Correspondent

letters@hindustantimes.com

New Delhi : The former executive editor of NDTV, Nidhi Razdan, on Friday said she was the victim of an elaborate online fraud that prompted the journalist to resign from her job and accept a teaching position — which has now turned out to be non-existent — at the prestigious Harvard University in the United States.

According to the journalist, known for anchoring one of the channel’s flagship shows, Left, Right and Centre, she was offered the position of an associate professor of journalism in June last year and was supposed to join the Ivy League institution in the semester beginning September. She was later given the impression that this was delayed, and that classes would begin in January 2021.

“Along with this, I noticed a number of administrative anomalies,” she wrote in her statement posted on Twitter. “At first, I had dismissed these anomalies as part of being reflective of the new normal being dictated by the pandemic, but recently the representations being made to me were of an even more disquieting nature.”

After that, she said, without giving a timeline, she reached out to senior authorities at the university and found out that the offer was fraudulent. “The perpetrators of this attack used clever forgeries and misrepresentations to obtain access to my personal data and communication, and may have also gained access to my devices and email/ social media accounts,” Razdan, who worked at NDTV for 21 years, said.

The journalist said on Friday that she has filed a complaint with the Jammu & Kashmir Police cyber cell.

“I hope that the police are able to get to the bottom of the attack on me at the earliest,” Razdan said, adding in another post that she was “overwhelmed” by the support she had received on social media.

Joshua Benton, a former journalist who founded the university’s news website, Nieman Lab, said there is no journalism department or journalism professors at Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

“She (Razan) was apparently under the impression she was joining the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS), which is the main faculty [for Harvard College and the Graduate School]. FAS definitely doesn’t have any journalism professors or offer any journalism degree,” he tweeted.

Till the time of going to print, there was no official response from Harvard University. Phishing involves the use of fake emails or websites that aim to elicit information out of people

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