August 04, 2020
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L'affaire Varun Gandhi: Hypocritical Media Indignation?

Writing in the Hoot, S. R. Ramanujan finds the media’s indignation hypocritical:

If the media really believed that Varun Gandhi’s speech would cause unrest among a section of the people, did the repeat telecasts of the speech make any sense?

...When the Election Commission sincerely believes that it was indeed a "hate speech" and might cause communal disturbances, it should have intervened and restrained the media from repeat telecast. They did their job by reporting the event with the CD supplied to all channels by a mysterious source. Follow up stories need not always be with the same offensive CD. Finding an excuse to repeat the telecast of the CD only exposes the channels' real intentions. It also helps those who charge the mainline channels of being anti-majority.

Though conventional ethics demands that the source need not be disclosed, on instances like this, where the CD is not the result of the efforts put in by the reporting staff, revealing the source might help viewers make up their mind as to the intentions of those behind the CD that is dished out to them at least a dozen times a day, irrespective of the genuineness of the CD. Particularly so when Varun is harbouring a conspiracy theory. This is analogous to the tendency of both print and electronic media to decry obscenity while showing obscene pictures on the pretext of dealing with the subject, in the process titillating readers and viewers.

Read the full piece: Media Communalism

L'affaire Varun Gandhi: Hypocritical Media Indignation?
outlookindia.com
1970-01-01T05:30:00+0530

Writing in the Hoot, S. R. Ramanujan finds the media’s indignation hypocritical:

If the media really believed that Varun Gandhi’s speech would cause unrest among a section of the people, did the repeat telecasts of the speech make any sense?

...When the Election Commission sincerely believes that it was indeed a "hate speech" and might cause communal disturbances, it should have intervened and restrained the media from repeat telecast. They did their job by reporting the event with the CD supplied to all channels by a mysterious source. Follow up stories need not always be with the same offensive CD. Finding an excuse to repeat the telecast of the CD only exposes the channels' real intentions. It also helps those who charge the mainline channels of being anti-majority.

Though conventional ethics demands that the source need not be disclosed, on instances like this, where the CD is not the result of the efforts put in by the reporting staff, revealing the source might help viewers make up their mind as to the intentions of those behind the CD that is dished out to them at least a dozen times a day, irrespective of the genuineness of the CD. Particularly so when Varun is harbouring a conspiracy theory. This is analogous to the tendency of both print and electronic media to decry obscenity while showing obscene pictures on the pretext of dealing with the subject, in the process titillating readers and viewers.

Read the full piece: Media Communalism

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