Posted by : Shoumik Das Monday, September 9, 2013

Remained Uncovered

Most of us wake up to the news of nine people killed in riots in Uttar Pradesh. One of those killed was a journalist from IBN7. From the past few hours, only one question has been nagging me – would the media have covered this riot if the IBN7 journalist was not killed? You might wonder, what is the basis of this doubt?
Let’s take a look at some of the tweets from media celebrities since last night. First off-the-block is this tweetfrom Editor-in-Chief of IBN networks, Rajdeep Sardesai.

Media's double standards on Uttar Pradesh riots


Media's double standards on Uttar Pradesh riots

Media's double standards on Uttar Pradesh riots

Media's double standards on Uttar Pradesh riots

Not to be left behind, Group Editor of NDTV says this:
Media's double standards on Uttar Pradesh riots
Did you know that riots were happening in UP “for last few months”? Rajdeep Sardesai is talking about Lucknow, Faizabad, Bairelly – does any of you know what even happened there? Ashutosh also enlightens us that “small riots are engineered all over UP” – here’s an open challenge to him – Can he point out to detailed reports on IBN7 over the last few months that expose this blatant transgression of law and order in the State? Barkha Dutt talks about a “series of recent religious riots” – are there series of programmes onNDTV where we can watch and get enlightened on these riots?
What does Ashutosh even mean by “attempt to repeat Gujarat in UP?” Is he trying to incite passion? Does he want something bad to happen in UP so that he can pinpoint it to Gujarat? What kind of cheap mentality is this, where the stupendous failure of one Government is interlinked to an event that happened more than 10 years ago? And no – I am not exaggerating when I used the phrase “blatant transgression of law and order”. One of IBN’s reports said that over the last one year, at one point of time or other, 22 districts in UP have been under curfew! 22 districts!! And yet not a squeal from these editors during the last one year.
And on top of all this, these editors somehow blame this transgression to the “abuse on the net”? Don’t believe me?
Look at Rajdeep’s tweet on Sunday -
Media's double standards on Uttar Pradesh riots
And then the best excuse of all – politics and political parties are being blamed. IBN’s reporting is just based on politics. They don’t even care to explain to us in detail about the politics. In fact, Ashutosh goes a step further and asks us to think!
Media's double standards on Uttar Pradesh riots
It always beats me as how these people would want to get away with such escapist explanations! For the past few months, riots are being engineered and these people are obsessed with hatred on social media? The “we” in his tweet should point out only to the journalistic community – do they really care? The report tells us that there was a conglomeration of people to discuss how to handle recent incidents of “eve-teasing” in a village and that spiralled into these fresh riots. What exactly is this “eve-teasing” problem? These same editors continously lecture us on the need to maintain restraint in reporting clashes. So much restraint that “100s of communal clashes” go unreported!
This Indian Express report tells us the Akhilesh Government has officially agreed to 27 riots in its tenure so far. Then why is Ashutosh resorting to rumour mongering of “100s of communal riots”? What is the source of his ‘Government records’?  The Government also says the three major riots have happened in Mathura, Bairelly, and Faizabad. I bet none of the viewers watching these news channels would have had any clue on these riots when they happened.
Back in 2011, NDTV claimed that their coverage of 2002 riots helped in the quelling of the riots.
Media's double standards on Uttar Pradesh riots
One can’t help but wonder why they have stopped playing such a proactive role in quelling of riots after 2002? Especially in the present instance, their group editor herself has enlightened us that there have been a series of riots in UP in the last one year. These same editors do not get tired of talking about how “2002 riots were the first one to be covered live on TV”. What these people fail to tell us that those were the last ones to be covered live on TV too! Everything starts and ends with 2002 – no riots and TV before and after that!
This is precisely, why I strongly think that if not for the unfortunate and sad death of IBN7 reporter, the media would not have bothered to pick up this round of violence in UP too. Why else would any responsible media in any country ignore more than 100 communal clashes in one year? In Ashutosh’s own words, think!
source:NitiCentral

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