Sensational Headlines Have Replaced Objective ReportingIt is being reported that a Dalit was tied-up and brutally thrashed outside a factory in Rajkot with iron rods and the man succumbed to his injuries. The heinous crime has been projected as a hate crime against the Dalits. But is this proper press reporting or is it mischievous and slanted reporting?
By Linus Garg
Consider the facts: something went missing in the factory, leading to suspicion of theft. The needle of suspicion pointed towards the safaiwala, who obviously was a Dalit, for rightly or wrongly, most safai karmacharis and rag-pickers are from that community only.
The brutality of the crime is not being condoned. It was a heinous crime and it is difficult to understand how someone can thrash another person so brutally with iron rods for a theft, even if it was of substantial value. What is being questioned is the manner of reporting.
Wouldnt Ragpicker Brutally Thrashed To Death In Rajkot have been a more objective headline than Dalit Man Tied-Up, Flogged In Gujarat? Do we not teach budding reporters to be objective in their reporting? Then why is news being presented in a slanted manner nowadays? A section of the press does not realize that it is blowing up stories of ordinary crimes into those of hate crime and this is having a bubble effect. It is fuelling anger, creating distrust between communities and inciting passions.
If it is against journalistic ethics to suppress news of hate crimes, it is also same if ordinary crimes are presented as hate crimes. There is no doubt that those who indulge in hate crimes need to be exposed and brought to book. But reporting ordinary crime with a slant is not a good thing and should be avoided.