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Irresponsible Reporting by “Aaj Tak” News Channel

13 Mar

The “CODE OF ETHICS & BROADCASTING STANDARDS” set by the “News Broadcasters Association New Delhi “ says –
The fundamental premise of a democracy is the accountability of all its institutions to the political sovereign, viz the people. It is axiomatic that for democracy to survive and flourish, freedom must live in the hearts of people, and the citizenry must be ever vigilant against all attempts to subvert the rule of law. Democracies have decayed into anarchy not merely on account of major events
such as coups, but also by insidious erosion caused by egregious corruption and abuse of power.

Actor-social activist Gul Panag is in news this week as she is likely to be declared as “Aam Aadmi Party’s candidate from Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat. This news was reported by Aaj Tak on their website at: http://aajtak.intoday.in/gallery/actress-gul-panag-to-get-aap-ticket-from-chandigarh-1-6487.html

The official Facebook page of Aaj Tak also posted a news item about the same on 13th March around 10 PM IST. The post had a headline saying “ये हैं चंडीगढ़ से आम आदमी पार्टी की संभावित उम्मीदवार” wherein a picture of Gul Panag was posted. Here is the link to the post: https://www.facebook.com/aajtak/photos/a.10150447603827580.383186.27682782579/10152382245947580/?type=1&stream_ref=10

Gul Panag 2 Gul Panag 3

It should be noted that:
1.The picture in the post is nowhere related to the news item. It was picked up over the scores of other images that are available in public domain
2.The selection of such a picture is a deliberate attempt to tarnish the image of the individual and cause trauma to the invidual
3.The motive behind selecting this picture is a malafide attempt to influence the opinion of the voters by creating negativity about the individual concerned
4.This post is in violation of “CODE OF ETHICS & BROADCASTING STANDARDS” set by News Broadcasters Association of India (http://www.nbanewdelhi.com/pdf/final/NBA_code-of-ethics_english.pdf). I believe that this post is violating the clause related to ” Impartiality and objectivity in reporting” where a balanced reporting is expected from a news channel. The code of ethics also says that “Channels should strive not to broadcast anything which is obviously defamatory or libelous”.

A mail has been sent to the following individuals/organizations to question such reporting by Aaj Tak:
a.Ashish Bagga, Group CEO, THE INDIA TODAY GROUP (ashish.bagga@intoday.com)
b.Supriya Prasad, Managing Editor, THE INDIA TODAY GROUP (supriya.prasad@aajtak.com)
c.Mr. Puneet Jain , Head Legal & Compliances & CS & GM – (F & A) (puneet.jain@aajtak.com)
d.News Broadcasters Association of India (authority@nbanewdelhi.com & nba@nbanewdelhi.com)
e.Press Council of India (p.sibbal@nic.in; pcibpp@gmail.com; pcimeetings@gmail.com; pcibppcomplaint@gmail.com; pcibpplib@gmail.com; pcibppeditorial@gmail.com; pcibppaccount@gmail.com; pcibpphindi@gmail.com; pcibppadmin@gmail.com;)

Here is the call of action for you as a responsible citizen:
• Send a similar mail to all the individuals listed above
• Call the following individuals
a. Ashish Bagga, Group CEO, THE INDIA TODAY GROUP – +91-120-4807100
b. Supriya Prasad, Managing Editor, THE INDIA TODAY GROUP – +91-120-4807100
c. Manoj Sharma, Group Business Head, THE INDIA TODAY GROUP – +91-120-4807100
d. Mr. Puneet Jain , Head Legal & Compliances & CS & GM – (F & A) – +91 – 0120 – 4807100

Lets not remain silent. Lets raise our voice and create an environment where all the media houses report responsibily and impartially.

This is not the first time that Aaj Tak (India Today group) has given partial or one sided news. Here is a detailed blog that gives complete details of their biased reporting of recent times. http://aamjanata.com/india-today-investigated-paid-media/#comment-15862

And here are the NBA decisions against AAJ TAK group where the channel was made to apologize and was made to pay a fine of Rs 1 lakh in two of the cases
1. Order No 23 (2014) – In the matter of complaint dated 4/9.12.2012 from Ms. Seema Mittal regarding false story in the programme titled “Vardat” on 7.11.2012 repeat telecast on 8.11.2012, further telecast with complainant’s version on 15.12.2012 and
repeated on 16.12.12 on Aaj Tak Channel. Refer: http://www.nbanewdelhi.com/pdf/25_ORDER%20NO%2023%20DT.%206.1.14.pdf

2. Order No 22 (2014) – In the matter of complaint dated 20.6.2013 filed by Mr. Pradip Kundu, Jt. General Manager (PR), Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Ltd., New Delhi regarding sting operation titled “Dalal Junction” aired on Aaj Tak Channel on 24.3.2013. Refer: http://www.nbanewdelhi.com/pdf/24_ORDER%20NO%2022%20DT.%206.1.14.pdf

3. Order No. 17 of 2012 – In the matter of complaint dated 21/06/2012 filed by Dr. Kalind Prashar against broadcasts made on Aaj Tak (on 10.6.12) & on IBN7 (on 11.6.12) of a one sided story of a matrimonial dispute. Refer: http://www.nbanewdelhi.com/pdf/19_ORDER%20NO%2017%20DT.25.10.12.pdf

4. Complaint No. 4 of 2011 – 2 Corps OMC Pin No 909802 C/o 56 APO and M/s TV Today Network Ltd (“Aajtak”). Refer: http://www.nbanewdelhi.com/images/Upload/aajtak.pdf

All the decisions of NBA can be found at : http://www.nbanewdelhi.com/decisions.asp

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Here is the full text of the mail:

Subject: Irresponsible Reporting by “Aaj Tak” News Channel

Sir/Madam,
I would like to bring the following few lines to your consideration.
This is in reference to a Facebook post of ‘Aaj Tak’ News channel on the official page (https://www.facebook.com/aajtak) that was posted around 10 PM on 12th March 2014.
The post had a headline saying “ये हैं चंडीगढ़ से आम आदमी पार्टी की संभावित उम्मीदवार” wherein a picture of Gul Panag was posted. I am attaching a screenshot of the same for your reference. Here is the link to the post: https://www.facebook.com/aajtak/photos/a.10150447603827580.383186.27682782579/10152382245947580/?type=1&stream_ref=10
I would like to raise the following pointers about this post:
1. The picture in the post is no where related to the news item. It was picked up over the scores of other images that are available in public domain
2. The selection of such a picture is a deliberate attempt to tarnish the image of the individual and cause trauma to the invidual
3. The motive behind selecting this picture seems to be a malafide attempt to influence the opinion of the voters by creating negativity about the individual concerned
4. This post is in violation of “CODE OF ETHICS & BROADCASTING STANDARDS” set by News Broadcasters Association of India (http://www.nbanewdelhi.com/pdf/final/NBA_code-of-ethics_english.pdf). I believe that this post is violating the clause related to ” Impartiality and objectivity in reporting” where a balanced reporting is expected from a news channel. The code of ethics also says that “Channels should strive not to broadcast anything which is obviously defamatory or libelous”.

This post has been shared by around 800 Facebook users and was liked by another 8600, amplifying the reach of the post to thousands as I type this mail.

Please note that this mail is not aimed at moral policing. The viewers would appreciate if visuals that appropriately portray the candidature of a contesting candidate are used by your channel as it is done in the case of all other candidates. Singling out a candidate by way of their profession is both unethical and inappropriate and does not befit a national channel such as yours.

I request you to remove the post from your official Facebook page and issue an apology to the viewers and the individual concerned.
Also, please take necessary actions to ensure that such posts are avoided under all circumstances by your channel in future.
I would appreciate a swift reply and action from you.

Regards,
Syed Shah Ali Hussaini
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Update: Aaj Tak has deleted the post. No apology has been issued so far. I haven’t received a reply to my mail as well.

Update as on 19th March:

Received a mail from Dr. Puneet Jain, Head Legal & Compliances and Company Secretary & Vice President- Internal Audit TV Today Network Ltd.

Puneet Jain

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2 Comments

Posted by on March 13, 2014 in My Success Stories

 

2 responses to “Irresponsible Reporting by “Aaj Tak” News Channel

  1. Knight Samar

    March 13, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    Good work man! 🙂

     
  2. samay67@aol.in

    April 6, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    AAjtak has been mistakenly penalised, just on the threats of Seema Mittal for taking legal action, whereas the news was based on merits and true facts

    http://www.indiankanoon.org/doc/17012454/

    The petitioner herein relying upon the materials available on record in Crime No.453/2010 tried to substantiate that his wife, second respondent – Seema Mittal was having illicit relationship with Ashish Goel, which resulted in Ashish Goel committing suicide. According to petitioner, his wife Seema Mittal, to conceal her involvement resulting in the suicidal death of Ashish Goel, has falsely implicated the petitioner in false case by filing a complaint in Crime No.473/2010 before the Koramangala Police Station alleging that there is dowry harassment to her by her husband, petitioner herein.

     

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