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24 x 7 TV purveys misinformation

24 x 7 TV purveys misinformation

Author: Indulata Das
Publication: The Pioneer
Date: January 11, 2008

Every profession has certain responsibilities. In the case of mass media, these are multiplied, because they shoulder the responsibility of unfolding the truth. Hence their version has to be impartial, and unbiased. The truth should also be seen from the angle of one's own country and culture, and not from that of an alien.

But most newspapers and news channels feel they are beyond all boundaries of responsibility. They are free to publish or broadcast anything and everything. And, they have no commitment to society. Such is the situation that the endeavour of most mediapersons is not to express the truth but to campaign for some party, some individual or some institution.

Recently, a 24x7 English news channel broadcast a programme on the unrest in Kandhamal. The programme started with a picture of a burning cross, obviously hinting at violence against Christians. As if no violence was done to Hindus in this district of Orissa. Next, the anchor said, the problem in Kandhamal began with Hindus objecting to Christians erecting a structure. The fact that the structure was constructed on the ground where Durga Puja is observed every year was cleverly concealed by her.

She casually mentioned that "the vehicle of Swami Lakshmanananda" was attacked when he came to Brahmanigaon. Very misleadingly, she did not mention who attacked it and where exactly it was attacked. Again, very cleverly she asked, "Why was the Swami going to that place?" Here also she very deceptively concealed the fact that the attack on Swami Lakshmanananda was unprovoked, and it happened 50 km away from Brahmanigaon (where the Hindu-Christian clash had taken place).

Throughout the programme there were hundreds of pictures showing the damage done to Christians and no expression of any damage done to Hindus. For two seconds, a Hindu woman was shown crying. But there was no mention about the loss suffered by her. The anchor concealed the fact that Hindus have sustained equal or more damage in comparison to Christians and the first man who was killed was a Hindu, murdered by Christians. Hindus were portrayed as villains and Orissa was painted in shocking colours. Christians were shown as innocent victims; conversion was depicted as an act of benevolence!

Was this a news programme or a propaganda film paid for by missionaries?

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