Indian media is currently one of the world’s largest markets for dispersal of news and views not only from the local Indian scene but also for global news that impacts the progress of our nation. However, public faith is deteriorating fast when it comes to the steadfastness of Indian media and how much it really cares about the woes of the general public. Channels like Zee News have lost their credibility in recent years as at times, there have been repeated instances of fake news being aired on these channels.
In a democracy, there are three pillars (Legislature, Executive & Judiciary) supported by the media to strike a balance and to make sense of what is going on in the country. The media, through news reporting, helps the mango people (aam aadmi) of the country put 2 and 2 together to make them understand what government policies mean and what the implications of bad decisions by a certain government can spell out for them in the future.
However, yellow journalism or bad press is on the rise now in India! The 4th pillar is now being into by political protection because of which nonsense news (fake news) is rife everywhere!
Here is a roundup of the most embarrassing situations where Indian mainstream media was caught reporting fake news for TRP:
Guatemala mob lynching video aired as an Indian woman being beaten up by a ‘Muslim’ man.
A mob lynching video from Guatemala was passed off in India as a Marwari woman being murdered by a Muslim mob for refusing to wear a burkha. Later, the news was debunked as false news.
CPM’s cyber trolls heavily trolled Australian cricketer Tom Moody instead of trolling Moody’s
A Times of India report highlighted how vengeful CPM sympathizers attacked PM Modi on social media over Moody’s (Moody’s Investors Service, a financial services company) upgrading India’s credit rating to its highest ever. In reality, nothing of this sort happened, and it was a fabricated story by the Times of India. However, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) supporters also fell for this tap and trolled CPM by using this new report as a template. Hilarious!
Nostradamus predicted the rise of Narendra Modi!
“Indus supremus gudjaratus status natus est
Patrus Theus boutiqus, studium bonus est
Namusprimum narendus est”
“The supreme leader of India will be born in the state of Gujarat
His father will sell tea in a shop
His first name will be narendus (Narendra)”
Zee News aired this bullshit which was actually a figment of the imagination of a popular blogger named Francois Gautier. Actually, a write-up titled ‘Nostradamus and India’ was published in the Times of India where Gautier shared these hilarious passages.
Read more at https://francoisgautier.me/2017/03/29/nostradamus-india/
Zee News took it so seriously that aired it live!
President Kovind joins Twitter – makes 3 million followers in an hour
A ridiculous story that made the rounds of social media for weeks and even on some popular Indian media channels! The media claimed that Hon’ble President Kovind gained three million followers in the span of one hour after joining Twitter. In reality, the official Twitter accounts of the president, vice president, and various ministries are considered digital assets that belong to the government and Mr. Kovind simply ‘inherited’ these followers from his contemporary, Hon’ble Ex-President Pranab Mukherjee.
Pakistani posts of Kirpan & Pimpal destroyed by the Indian Army in an immediate retaliation to the beheading of Indian soldiers
Absolute fake news! This news piece was aired by Aaj Tak, India Today, Zee News, ABP News and India TV. Apparently, after the news of brutal killing and body mutilation of two Indian security personnel along the Line of Control (LoC) was reported, and Indian media flashed this news. Little did they know that Kirpan was actually an Indian post and Pimpal is in Maharashtra! The news of an immediate retaliation by the Indian army was fake since the Indian army had issued no official statement on this, yet the news channels went bonkers!
Paresh Mesta case
Shiv Aroor, an India Today journalist shared a twitter post that read:
“Boiling oil poured on his face. Castrated.
Head cut open. Flung into a lake.
Will 21-year-old Paresh Mesta’s murder shake India?”
The original claim was made by a BJP MLA who alleged that Mesta was a victim of hate crime by the Congress against an alleged BJP worker (Mesta). However, the forensic report trashed the claims and cited it as a decomposing body that had been lying in the open for a long period which eventually led to the putrefaction of the skin turning it black. Shiv Aroor was slammed by Prem Panicker, the former MD of Yahoo India, who lambasted India Today for amplifying a story that had no base and led to massive communal tension in Karnataka’s Uttara Kannada district, where Mesta’s body was found.
Social status Conversion rate card found in Kerala
This piece of fake news was aired by the Times Now channel which in reality turned out to be a photoshopped image! Without fact-checking, Times Now aired this rate card which allows anyone to convert their child’s religion/social status to that of a Hindu. The rate card was as follows:
- A Hindu Brahmin girl – five lakhs,
- Sikh Punjabi gal – seven lakh rupees
- Hindu Khastriya gal – four and a half lakhs
- Hindu OBC/SC/ST – two lakhs
- Buddhist girl – one and a half lakh
- Jain girl – three lakh rupees
Little did Rahul Shivshankar of the channel know that this photoshopped image had been doing the rounds on WhatsApp for years and was treated as fake post long back!
The fact of the matter is that media is now a business that is controlled by their puppet masters (the corporate houses) and they are all in it for the profits! Their only ray of hope to survive in this cutthroat industry is to have more viewership. How they do it is explained above! Bullshit labeled as breaking news that exudes sensationalism and sacrifices journalistic principles. Although it does the job of branding half-baked or unverified facts as real news, it is getting the better of you by making you believe the nonsense!
If you have been a victim of this world of yellow journalism, you should remember that you have a remote in your hand that can turn the ‘idiot’ box off so that you can stop yourself from becoming an idiot! This masquerading of underground propaganda and unverified content being spoon-fed to you as the intelligent TV will stop only when you stop watching it!