Here’s a clever move:
- Indian TV station NDTV, and specifically broadcaster Barkha Dutt, is criticised for coverage of the Mumbai attacks. As Gaurav Mishra describes it:
“Bloggers were scathing in their criticism of Barkha Dutt’s sensationalistic coverage of the 11/26 Mumbai terror attack, accusing her of broadcasting sensitive information about the position of hostages and security troops, sensationalizing the news coverage, and being borderline hysterical, in general. The National Security Guard, the Naval Chief, and the Information & Broadcasting Ministry had also criticized Indian news television coverage of the crisis. This groundswell of criticism prompted mainstream media to join in (The Hindu, The Indian Express) and forced Barkha Dutt and NDTV to go on the defensive (LiveMint).”
- Amid this “groundswell of opinion”, NDTV appears to threaten one of those critics – the blogger Chetan Kunte – with legal action.
- Kunte pulls his blog post and replaces it with a retraction statement (image above) that sounds as if it’s been dictated by someone else’s lawyers.
- Indian blogosphere erupts in outrage, and either links to a Google cache of that withdrawn blog post, or republishes it entirely. Not to mention critically discussing the TV station’s coverage once again.
Lesson to news organisations: your viewers are your distributors now. Suing them is not good management. Nor is it good for freedom of speech – something you might find useful yourselves in the future.
Someone should have a quiet word with them about the music industry.
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Hmm something seemed a little forced here…
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Agreed, that there may have been lapses on the part of the journalist, even Barkha.
But, the BIG question is, is the army or the police or the NSG not aware of the consequences of the information being broadcast, the proximity they give to the journalists and general public from the scene or war, crime or catastrophe, and do they not have sufficient rights or powers to stop sensitive broadcasts being made while the battle or whatever I mentioned above is still on?
Media will try it’s best to cover stories. They may not even be aware of the harm they might be doing in the process, as has been indicated in the blogs and comments, but are the people who are actually involved in solving the problem dumb, or do they not follow any protocol?
Wow … how to take the bull by the horns. Not what I would have done given the outrage already expressed by the blogging community.
I think that journalist and news media need to come up with a code of conduct for real-time broadcasting – esp. in tense situations where unreliable information is coming through.
Sort of like an acceptable error rate in the news signal.
BTW Nick, your comment above made me laugh – was thinking the exact same thing as I read this post.
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Thought the internet and blogosfera was immune to the politics, guess i was wrong.
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