Ex ‘NDTV’ journalist Nidhi Razdan falls in ‘Harvard’ Phishing scam


India: A well known Indian Journalist of one of the premier news channel, ‘NDTV’ Nidhi Razdan, announced that she had fallen for a phishing strike and that Harvard University had not actually offered her a job.

A few months ago, Nidhi revealed through her social media that she had chosen for Assitant professor’s job in worlds to academic hub Harvard in Journalism.

In her Twitter message, she said,” I have been the victim of a very serious phishing attack. I’m putting this comment out to set the record straight about what I’ve been through. I will not be addressing this issue any further on social media.”

In a statement on Twitter, Razdan said that she was made to believe that she would be joining the University in September 2020 but, citing the Covid pandemic, was told that her classes began in January.

“In June 2020 and after 21 years with NDTV, I chose to move on and said that I would be joining Harvard University as an Associate Professor of Journalism,” said Razdan in a declaration published on social media Twitter. “I had been given to believe that I would be joining the University in September 2020. At the same time, I was making preparations to take up my new assignment in January 2021. Along with these delays, I began noticing several administrative anomalies in the process being described to me.”

The journalist further said that she dismissed the “anomalies” thinking of them as part of the “new normal dictated by the pandemic.

“But recently, the representations being made to me were of an even more disquieting nature. As a result, I reached out to senior authorities at Harvard University for clarity. Upon their request, I shared some of the correspondence that I believed I had received from the University,” she added.

It was after contacting the authorities at the University, Razdan said, she realized she was a victim of a phishing attack.

“After hearing from the University, I have now learned that I have been the victim of a sophisticated and coordinated phishing attack. I did not receive an offer from Harvard University to join their faculty as an Associate Professor of Journalism. The perpetrators of this attack used clever forgeries and misrepresentations to obtain access to my personal data and communications and may have also gained access to my devices and my email/social media accounts,” she said in her statement.
Razdan also said she has filed a complaint with the police and has handed over relevant documents.

“I have requested them (Police) to take immediate steps to identify, apprehend and prosecute the perpetrators of this abominable attack,” she added.

On June 13, Razdan had stated that she would be quitting NDTV to take up a position at the Harvard University..”

Now, Joshua Benton, senior director and former Director of the Nieman Journalism Lab of the Nieman Foundation at Harvard University, has had his say on the Nidhi Razdan phishing attack. He has clarified that Harvard University does not have a school of journalism or department of journalism and has no professors either.

The Nieman Foundation, which Joshua Benton has referred to in his tweet, offers journalism fellowships. As per to its website, the fellowship is for “individuals with a specific project to enhance journalism who would like to spend up to 12 weeks at Harvard advancing their idea.” “Following their work on campus, our fellows have gone on to assume senior leadership positions in newsrooms, produce groundbreaking journalism in every medium, launch entrepreneurial projects, and win the industry’s top honors,” it adds.

The Nieman Foundation has three initiatives: Nieman Lab, Nieman Reports, and Nieman Storyboard. Nieman is located at Harvard’s Lippman House, which “is the convening center every year for dozens of seminars, master classes, conferences and awards ceremonies. These bring together not only our fellows but the broadest-possible array of those practicing, celebrating, challenging, and advancing journalism.”

Joshua Benton also pointed out that the Harvard Extension School only offers a Masters of Liberal Arts degree with a focus on journalism. Furthermore, it does not have full-time professors of its own. Adjuncts and working journalists teach all the courses, he said.

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