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Wednesday, 14 March, 2001, 12:32 GMT
Indian website breaks the mould
Tehelka front page
Tehelka.com: A newcomer to the media scene
"News, views and all the juice."

That's how the ground-breaking news and entertainment portal, Tehelka.com, describes itself on its home page.

The site, whose exclusive story about arms dealing led to the resignation of the president of India's ruling party on Tuesday, is based in smart offices on the outskirts of the capital, Delhi.

Tarun Tejpal
Tarun Tejpal: Exposing corruption
A new phenomenon on India's media scene, Tehelka.com has all the feel of an up-and-coming dot.com company in San Francisco.

Many of the site's journalists have left more established publications, like Outlook magazine, to work for the new portal.

Tehelka's editor-in-chief, Tarun Tejpal, has invested heavily in hard-hitting investigative reporting, and has pushed the boundaries of editorial content further than most.

He regards it as his mission to expose wrong-doing and corruption.

"Our job was to blow the whistle on corruption in India's defence procurement. We wanted to nail them down," he told a news conference in Delhi on Tuesday after the arms bribery scandal was revealed.

The site first attracted attention last year when it carried out an investigation of cricket match-fixing allegations, which was eventually turned into a book.

Investigations

The material was gathered over several months using secret video footage of conversations players and officials had with former cricketer Manoj Prabhakar.

It helped fuel the debate in India and elsewhere about corruption in the sport.

Tehelka.com has also tackled previously taboo social issues.

The site carries a special "Erotic reader" section, with detailed and often graphic first-person accounts of sexual experiences.

Tehelka.com is bound to become even more high-profile with the latest arms bribery scandal - although whether it can survive in a tough market where advertising revenues are meagre is another question.

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See also:

14 Mar 01 | South Asia
Heads roll in India bribery scandal
24 May 00 | South Asia
Former cricketer accuses Kapil Dev
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