Reporting News is Not Fastest Fingers FirstIs a section of the media deliberately putting out slanted news without waiting for official confirmation? In quick succession, two news were flashed that were miles away from the truth. First, even as the Ranchi special court judge was reading out the judgment in the fodder scam case, a section of the media reported that Laloo Prasad had been acquitted of all charges. Then, reports surfaced claiming that the CBFC has asked for 26 cuts in the film Padmavati as a precondition for clearing the film. It later transpired that Laloo was convicted and no cuts were suggested by the CBFC.
First publised on 2018-01-02 11:44:56
What is happening? Why are reporters covering important events jumping the gun? Is it because they want to be the first to report? Or is it because they do not have a proper understanding of the news they are covering? Or worse still, is it because they have made up their minds how they are going to report? Professional incompetence, though unpardonable, can take place and the media organization will take note of it and remove the offender. But slanting of news cannot be pardoned.
These were small incidents. But if similar reporting is done in sensitive cases, even a fifteen minute gap in correcting the mistake can prove to be lethal. Passions can be inflamed and riots can take place. Hence, reporters have a duty to double check and cross verify each piece of news before sending it across for publication. They are the ones in the field. Those in the newsroom or studios will flash whatever they put out. This puts a huge responsibility on their shoulders and they must act accordingly. There is no shame in rectifying a genuine mistake. But shoddy reporting must be avoided at all costs, even if someone else puts out the news first. There is a chance that egg will be on that persons face instead of you.