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Barkha Dutt
Barkha Dutt World Economic Forum Nov 2010.jpg
Dutt at the World Economic Forum, 2010
Born (1971-12-18) 18 December 1971 (age 52)
Nationality Indian
Education St. Stephen's College, Delhi (BA)
Jamia Millia Islamia (MA)
Columbia University (MS)
Occupation News Anchor
Years active 1991–present
Notable credit(s)
We the People
The Buck Stops Here
Relatives Bahar Dutt (sister)
Awards Padma Shri

Barkha Dutt is an Indian television journalist and author. She has been a reporter and news anchor at NDTV and Tiranga TV. She currently runs her own digital news channel called 'MoJo Story'. She is also an opinion columnist with The Hindustan Times and The Washington Post.

Dutt was part of NDTV's team for 21 years, until she left the channel in January 2017. She emerged as a prominent figure after her frontline war reporting on the Kargil Conflict between India and Pakistan in 1999. Dutt has won many national and international awards, including the Padma Shri, India's fourth highest civilian honour. Dutt was one of the journalists taped in the Radia tapes controversy. At NDTV, Dutt was the host of the weekly, award-winning talk-show We The People as well as the daily prime-time show The Buck Stops Here.

Personal life

She was born in New Delhi to S. P. Dutt, an Air India official, and Prabha Dutt, who was a well-known journalist with the Hindustan Times. Dutt credits her journalistic skills to her mother, a pioneer among women journalists in India. Her younger sister, Bahar Dutt, is also a television journalist working for CNN IBN. She describes herself as agnostic who rejects religion. She supports the concept of a Uniform Civil Code. Barkha Dutt has expressed her opinion against Triple Talaq and Muslim patriarchy. Her father died of coronavirus in April 2021.


Dutt graduated from St. Stephen's College, Delhi with a degree in English literature. She received a Master's in Mass Communications from Jamia Millia Islamia Mass Communication Research Center, New Delhi. She started her journalism career with NDTV and later rose to head the English news wing of the organisation. She also obtained a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, New York assisted by an Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation scholarship. Her reporting of the Kargil conflict in 1999, including an interview with Captain Vikram Batra, brought her to prominence in India. She has since covered conflicts in Kashmir, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq.

While covering the events of 2002 Gujarat violence, Dutt identified attackers and victims of a riot as "Hindus" and "Muslims" on television, flouting the guidelines of the Press Council of India. She has received negative reception for some of her work. For 2008 Mumbai attacks, she was blamed for sensationalising the events, putting lives at risk and causing deaths by identifying on live television where the hotel guests might be located. Britta Ohm wrote in 2011 that Dutt is criticised for "secular shrillness", betraying the cause of Kashmiri Pandits, over-the-top nationalism in the reporting of Kargil conflict, and for soft-pedalling Hindutva.

Dutt, who was group editor of NDTV, moved to the role of consulting editor in February 2015 and after 21 years, left in January 2017. She has also written columns for international newspapers, such as The Washington Post.

During the COVID-19 Migration Crisis, her extensive on-road coverage documented the difficulties faced by migrant workers all over North India.

Awards and honours

Dutt's Sunday talk show has won the most awards out of any show on Indian television, winning the Indian Television Academy award for Best Talk Show five years in a row. In 2012, the Association for International Broadcasting awarded Dutt the title of "TV Personality of the year" with the following citation: "a reporter of considerable stretch and depth, still passionate and fearless in bringing the issues closer to her viewers." Dutt was the recipient of the C H Mohammed Koya National Journalism Award in 2009. In 2008, Dutt received the Indian News Broadcasting Award for the Most Intelligent News Show Host. Dutt received the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association award for Journalist of the Year, 2007. She was awarded "Best TV News Anchor (English) for her programme "We the people" at the first Indian News Television Awards in 2007.

In 2008, the Indian government headed by Manmohan Singh awarded Dutt the Padma Shri, a civilian honour, for her coverage of the 2004 tsunami.

She has twice been named on the list of 100 "Global Leaders of Tomorrow" compiled by the World Economic Forum (2001, 2008). In 2005, she was among 50 Indians who were 35 or younger and listed for their achievements and impact on society.

In 2010, she was appointed as a member of India's National Integration Council. She was named an Asia Society Fellow in 2006 and serves on the International Advisory Council of the Asia Society.

Dutt was awarded the Chameli Devi Jain Award for Outstanding Women Mediapersons in 2000.

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