India

According to media, UP CM Adityanath dreams of "donkey-free" roads

01 May 2017 | By Gogona Saikia
Mainstream media in the time of competition

Speaking at Deoria, UP CM Yogi Adityanath promised to make roads 'gaddha-mukt' (pothole-free) by June.

Media houses wasted no time in glancing through ANI's tweets; apparently, trying to make sense of them was a waste of time too.

"UP roads to be donkey-free from June 15," reported TOI, Firstpost and even Huffington Post.

To clarify, donkey is 'gadha' in Hindi, while 'gaddha' is pit.

In context: Mainstream media in the time of competition

01 May 2017When MSM becomes a victim, what do we rely on?

At a time when journalism has given in to popular demand instead of upholding objectivity and accuracy, it comes as no surprise when Mainstream Media (MSM) makes the silliest of mistakes in the race to be the first.

Yet another example came on April 30 when Indian media houses gave UP CM Yogi Adityanath's speech a completely different and ridiculous turn!

What exactly is MSM?

MSM, or Mainstream Media, refers to traditional forms of mass communication. Earlier, its reach was limited, which has grown by leaps and bounds with the advent of the internet. Social media has gradually emerged as another source of information.
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01 May 2017According to media, UP CM Adityanath dreams of "donkey-free" roads

MSM's Trump fiasco

TrumpMSM's Trump fiasco

After Donald Trump's unexpected 2016 win, many wondered how MSM couldn't see the wave.

"We made the same mistake the Republicans and Democrats made. We were too sure of our own influence, too lazy to bother hearing things firsthand," said journalist Matt Taibbi. "Our job was to listen, and we talked instead."

Editor Kyle Pope summarized: "It is rooted in a failure of reporting."

SukmaSukma attack: Maoists cried mass rapes and MSM ignored

Many times, MSM goes the other way: discrediting a group rebelling against the government, especially in today's sensitive environment in India.

After the Sukma attack, the Maoists released a statement calling it retaliation for rapes of tribal women by security forces; though it was published, it remained deep inside and wasn't highlighted as much as objectivity demanded.

When non-existent floods hit Kashmir's tourism

After the 2014 floods in Kashmir, media houses played the videos again the next year during rains, which was far from the truth. As a result, tourism took a hit; many cancelled hotel and flight bookings due to floods which took place a year ago.
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RecentIndian MSM lost all zeal for accurate reporting in 2017

Recently, MSM declared how PM Narendra Modi had announced "women no longer need to change their names on passports after marriage": a rule which turned out to have been in force since earlier.

Then it declared how Adityanath had banished caste reservation from private medical colleges: officials later confirmed reservation in private medical colleges hadn't existed since 2006.

ToolsTools at the hands of MSM

Fabrication of news is easier than ever for MSM: quoting "anonymous" sources and adding the word "allegedly" lets publications off the hook.

Contrary to popular belief, even broadcast news is extremely susceptible to bias; often, footages are manipulated and released as "news" by editing out significant portions, which in effect actually prove the "news" false in the first place.

SafetyHow can you avoid the traps of MSM?

Read and read again. To ensure accurate information, make sure not to rely on just one source.

Pay attention to usage of words: "anonymous" sources and "alleged" incidents might not be true.

If available, read surveys directly instead of relying on media's interpretation; important information is often left out.

Remember: many times, the news is completely different than what the headline declares.