Scoop: A Netflix series shows how the media and criminal worlds collide

an episode of Scoop

The shocking killing of India's most well-known crime reporter in June 2011 and the subsequent arrest of a female crime reporter on suspicion of involvement in the killing stunned the nation.

One of India's most infamous gangsters, Chhota Rajan, who was convicted in 2018 and is currently serving a life sentence for the murder of Jyotirmoy Dey, also known as J Dey, was shot dead in Mumbai on the orders of men riding motorcycles.

Journalist Jigna Vora, however, was caught up in the chaos and falsely accused of taking part in the murder.

Before being granted bail, she was detained in the Byculla jail for more than nine months. Ms. Vora, a single mother of a 10-year-old boy, was exonerated in 2018 because the police could find no evidence to support their case.

Scoop, a brand-new webseries on Netflix that is dazzling critics and viewers alike, is about the murder of a journalist and the wrongfully imprisoned of another.

Scoop, based on Ms. Vora's 2019 memoir Behind The Bars In Byculla: My Days in Prison, is a compelling account of a true crime, the Mumbai mafia, and the roles of the police and media. Many of the actual incidents have been reenacted, but according to Ms. Vora, "the series makers have used cinematic leverage.".

A scene from Scoop
On the orders of Chhota Rajan, one of India's most infamous gangsters, Jyotirmoy Dey was shot dead in Mumbai by men riding motorcycles.

As Ms. Vora's on-screen persona Jagruti Pathak, who thrives on snagging scoops that land her a byline on the front page, finds herself in a prison cell alongside the people she once covered, she starts to reevaluate her goals and priorities.

Ms. Vora told the BBC that while she was happy with how the series turned out, watching it was challenging.

"It felt like the whole trauma was happening again. It was difficult to watch on television the humiliation and character assassination I endured. But I'm glad the show was made because it allowed people to see the reality that I was innocent.

A few months after J Dey's murder, rumors surfaced suggesting that a female crime reporter was responsible. Some of it was quoted in the media with police sources cited.

It didn't even occur to me that it could be me, she said, "We were also wondering who it could be.".

She claims that at the end of October, when a report naming her appeared in a newspaper, her initial feeling was shock. When her arrest finally happened on November 25, she was aware that it was going to happen soon.

I was scared and contemplated suicide during that difficult time, but my family gave me the will to persevere. If I killed myself, they warned, people would accuse me of being guilty. I had to engage in battle if I wanted to clear my name. ".

Ms. Vora claims that J Dey's murder changed her life irrevocably. She was allegedly associated with the criminal underworld and had assisted the murderers by giving them information about J Dey, according to the police. The harsh Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act (Mcoca), which carries the death penalty in serious cases, was used to charge her.

Her demise was enjoyed indirectly by many of her former coworkers as some in the Mumbai press went after her. She earned the labels "murderer" and "gangster's moll.". She was criticized for being "too ambitious" in their unsubstantiated reports, which were frequently attributed to "sources in the police.".

She tells me, "I believe there is nothing improper with having ambition.". But in my case, it was applied to make me out to be a bad guy. ".

Ms. Vohra claims that what hurt the most was "when female colleagues and editors made disparaging remarks about me, saying that I was sleeping around with people to get stories, but I had no one to tell my side of the story to.".

A scene from Scoop
Prison was "a very difficult phase of life," according to Ms. Vora.

As reporters pursue her family, including her son, the series documents the media circus. While being questioned by TV cameras about his mother's alleged crimes, the young child appears confused and terrified.

Prison was "a very difficult stage of life, I think it would have been for anyone in my situation," Ms. Vora claims. However, she continues, the inmates were very helpful and made an effort to cheer her up.

"The prison officials also took good care of me; they would give me advice, telling me to live each day as it came and that everything would be okay. ".

The trial court and the high court both found Ms. Vora not guilty of all charges, and she claims she has "no idea who fixed me.".

"All I know for sure is that it took place, and I accept it as my karma. Would I still be able to make any changes even if I did discover who fixed me? she queries.

She claims that she did a lot of introspection while incarcerated, and that after being released on bail, she "started the process of healing myself.".

When I finished my meditation and came out, I went to many temples, and all of that helped me find my inner strength. I've always believed, and now more than ever, I believe in God. ".

A scene from Scoop
Ms. Vora, a 10-year-old boy's single mother, was exonerated in 2018.

Weeks after its release, Scoop is still ranked second in the top 10 shows on Netflix in India. It debuted on the service in early June and has since become one of the most watched shows there. A must-watch for all journalists, it has also impressed critics who have called it "a gripping tale of the fourth estate".

The director of the movie Scoop, Hansal Mehta, claims to have followed Ms. Vora's case in 2011.

"However, like all headlines, her story was abandoned in favor of another. She and her family endured the trauma of being accused without a trial while it was contained to inside pages, he told The Times of India.

A scene from Scoop
The crime reporter in the Netflix series is portrayed by actress Karishma Tanne.

When Ms. Vora's book was introduced to him in the year 2020, he claims he recognized "the potential to engage the audiences on a story that is both a cautionary tale and an important chronicle of our times.".

In Ms. Vora's words, "I knew that he would be able to do justice to my story" when she learned that Mr. Mehta would be the director. She claims that she didn't anticipate this kind of response, though.

People are expressing their love and respect for her on social media and telling her that her television show has helped them see the truth. Many people also compliment her on her strength, but she wonders, "What other option did I have?".

In just a few years, Ms. Vora, a determined reporter, had established a reputation for herself in the field of crime reporting; however, following her time behind bars, she never went back to the profession. She currently earns a living as a healer by serving as a life coach and astrologer.

She feels uneasy thinking about the media trial she went through more than ten years ago and the ones that happen every night in television studios where people's reputations are ruined due to rumors and baseless accusations.

She claims that her experience should teach journalists to exercise caution because their reporting has the power to endanger lives.

The press is referred to as the fourth estate and is very powerful, having the ability to make or break an individual. I sincerely hope they change their ways and recognize the gravity of the work they do.

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