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Incorrect Reporting by News Media on Somnath Bharti – Khirkee Incident

02 Apr

On 30th January, News channels reported that NHRC (National Human Rights Commission) has directed the Delhi Police to take “appropriate action” in connection with the midnight raid conducted by Law Minister Somnath Bharti and his supporters in South Delhi’s Khirki Extension area on what he alleged was a drug and prostitution racket involving Ugandan women.

It was reported that NHRC acted on a complaint given by social activist Shehzad Poonawalla in this regard. It was reported that NHRC wrote a letter to Delhi Police Commissioner B S Bassi which read, “The authority concerned is directed to take appropriate action within eight weeks and to inform the complainant of the action taken in the matter.” Poonawalla had given a complaint to the Commission in this matter on January 17 seeking action in the case.

Here are the tweets from these channels/papers: (You can access all the tweets here)

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This report was not supported by any documents. This news created lot of noise when the news channels showed Mr Poonawalla’s statement regarding the same.

The reality about this came out when NHRC issued a press release the next day denying all this.

Here is the press release from NHRC:

New Delhi, 31st March, 2014
“The NHRC has seen the news stories that it has given a direction for taking action against Shri Somnath Bharti in Khirki Extension incident. It is clarified that the Commission has not given any such direction. The Commission had taken suo motu cognizance of the incident and expected some reports from the concerned authorities in the matter while simultaneously getting the issue investigated by its team, report of which is still awaited. Meanwhile, another complaint was received on the incident which was forwarded to the concerned authority for taking such action as deemed appropriate. In the interim, the Commission has received a judicial enquiry report from the concerned authorities in the matter which is also under its consideration.”

Image

This incident is in violation of “CODE OF ETHICS & BROADCASTING STANDARDS” set by News Broadcasters Association of India. I believe that this news item 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”.

******Who all reported false News:*****

The following News Channels reported False News:

  1. Aaj Tak
  2. CNN IBN
  3. NDTV
  4. Times Now
  5. Zee News

The Following News Papers/Magazines Reported False News:

  1. Indian Express
  2. Hindustan Times
  3. India Today
  4. Economic Times
  5. New Indian Express
  6. Business-Standard
  7. Daily Bhaskar
  8. ANI News
  9. Rediff News
  10. News Mobile

After NHRC’s press release, it was reported by First Post and Zee News Hindi

Image

And the following Media houses reported NHRC’s press release:

  1. Daiji World
  2. Zee News
  3. Yahoo News

=============================================

What do you need to do now?

=============================================

  1. Write a mail to all these media houses and ask them to issue an apology. Copy your mail to News Broadcasters Association of India and Press Council of India. Email Ids available here.
  2. Call these media houses and question them why they reported such a false news without verifying facts. The contact details for all these news channels are available here.
  3. Tweet to all the Editors and Anchors from these media houses and ask them to issue an apology. Twitter handles are available here.

==================================

Here is a mail template that you can use :

Sir,

I would like to bring the following lines to your notice.

This is with reference to the news/tweet from your channel/paper that that NHRC (National Human Rights Commission) has directed the Delhi Police to take “appropriate action” in connection with the midnight raid conducted by Law Minister Somnath Bharti and his supporters in South Delhi’s Khirki Extension area on what he alleged was a drug and prostitution racket involving Ugandan women.

Here is the link to the tweet/post: (insert link here).

This report was not supported by any documents. The reality about this came out when NHRC issued a press release the next day denying all this.

Here is the link press release from NHRC: http://nhrc.nic.in/dispArchive.asp?fno=13178

I would like to inform you that his news item 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 news item 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”.

I request you to report the press release issued by NHRC and issue an apology to the viewers and the individual concerned. Also, please take necessary actions to ensure that such type of reporting is avoided under all circumstances by your channel in future.

I would appreciate a swift reply and action from you.
Regards,
Name
City

 

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Posted by on April 2, 2014 in My Success Stories

 

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