To all the NDTV people out there I ask, Do you realize that journalism is a profession and not merely a business? Do you realize that your words and actions actually shape public opinion? Do you realize that it is you who sets the tone and tenor for public discourse? Do you realize that it is you who can make or destroy a person, a career, a reputation, an institution and even a nation? And lastly, do you realize that it is media outlets like yourself who define what India stands for?
Why then, NDTV walon, do you allow yourself to be exploited as a mere money making machine? Why do you choose to air opinions instead of facts? Why do you allow yourself to be brought down to the level of a song and dance show? Why do you blatantly show lies? Why do you allow 2-bit, good for nothing panelists to hijack your debates? Why do you allow monkey-like anchors to to impose their opinions? Why, Why, Why?
In case you are wondering, why this sudden outburst, sample these top 5 blatant lies and misinformation campaigns run by NDTV. See, how cleverly, they sensationalize their headlines and hide the reality.
1. NDTV’s headline today morning screamed that “Chandigarh crematorium to run as Parking spot for Modi visit”. What one would gather from this headline is, well, the Creamtatorium had been converted into a parking spot for Modi visit. If one were to click on the article, one would find that the Parking spot of the Crematorium had been booked for Modi’s visit. Well that surely is different than converting the crematorium to a parking spot. The headline was later changed to “VIP arrangements for me not ok, Modi tells Chandigarh”, but the damage was already done! Thousands would have already yelled profanities at Modi for not even having spared the crematorium for his visit. All this for sensationalizing a drab news item, that surely did not deserve first page coverage.
2. NDTV’s headline on the much debated 4 day meat ban was “4-day Meat Ban in Mumbai Provokes Controversy, Debate”. Nowhere does the article say that the ban is on 4 different days, nor is there a mention of chicken and fish being exempted. The article however is quick to link it to the beef ban debate. It also highlights tweets from some nobodies on how the ban is a violation of rights. Well, the meat ban issue surely deserved coverage. But can coverage be biased, devoid of facts and based solely on opinions?
3. NDTV’s headline on the now widely known Jasleen Kaur case was “Hours After Delhi Woman Shames ‘Abuser’ on Social Media, he is Arrested”. The entire article is based on the testimony of the so-called victim. The guy is question has already been named as the ‘abuser’. We know now that the matter is not so simple. There are multiple variations of truth going on on social media. Can a responsible media site have an entire article on the case, without any check on the veracity of the case? Or was the lure of “breaking” the news first more seductive than the whole truth?
4. NDTV’s headline on the Religion Census report was “Religious Census 2011: Hindus Below 80% For First Time, Muslim Growth Rate Falls”. This headline is extremely irresponsible to say the least. It clearly says that Muslim growth rate falls, implying that there is no change/hardly any change in the growth rate of other communities. The fact is that growth rate of Hindus also fell. The article subsequently highlights this fact, but the way the headline has been framed makes one feel that it was done with a sinister agenda! Shame!!
5. In July, NDTV had famously used a pic of Haridwar ghat to ‘highlight’ the pollution and mismanagement at Kumbh Mela at Nashik. The article talked of how there was a lack of preparation and things were in a mess. There were also claims that sewage flows into Godavari et al. Unexpectedly, the Municipal commissioner of Nashik challenged NDTV to show facts and tweeted his conversations with the NDTV journalist. NDTV’s Sonia Singh was then forced to issue an apology on twitter and NDTV was forced to amend the story. Take that!
The question is what joy does NDTV get out of this campaign of misinformation. No one wants a compliant media. It is essential that the media highlights issues where the things are going wrong or is not taking enough interest. But to lie through the teeth? What purpose does that serve? It only makes one feel that these media wallahs are guided through ‘other’ powers who have a vested interest in spreading faleshoods and misguiding people! Old timers would remember how in the late 90s and early 2000s, NDTV shows such as ‘We the People’ and ‘The Big Fight’, were trend setters in terms of informing the audience and presenting a range of views. Sadly, that is the case no longer!
Long live our so-called free media!
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