David Patraeus, former US Commander of forces in Afghanistan and more recently Director of the CIA has been in the news after he resigned when his extra-marital affair was exposed to the media. Across the pond, the BBC has come under much flack for their investigative programme, Newsnight’s false reporting and sloppy editorial and journalistic processes. The DIrector General of the BBC, George Entwistle has resigned because of this debacle.
NDTV, the very popular 24hrs English News channel in India reported these stories this morning. Maybe it was the post-diwali hangover, maybe the junior junior-most editor who pulled the short straw and was on duty last night/early this morning, put the news together this morning. The picture below is a photograph of the news clip about Leon Panetta (US Secretary of Defence) expressing his agreeance with David Patraeus’ resignation. In all its infinite journalistic prowess, instead of a picture of David Patraeus, NDTV put a picture of George Entwistle! The guy on night duty, saw the word “resigned” in both news stories and just bunged them together. Worst was they kept running the story all morning with the same goof up. We immediately wrote in to NDTV… not sure if they heeded the message…
Talk about shoddy journalism, NDTV is in a league of its own.
In the same breakfast news programme, Aung San Suu kyi was interviewed by a reporter who should have been on the Hindi news channel. The man it found difficult to string a sentence together in English and his questions were not only repetitive but longer that the poor woman’s answer. He first asks her what her expectations were of meeting with the Indian government to which she replied, she had no expectations because that was a little selfish and instead one comes in a spirit of friendship.
He then mumbled through another question and ended with a 12 second fumbling question that was the exact same question as the first one on her expectations which she had very diplomatically said was a crap question to begin with. As her eyes glaze over during the question and as she tries to grasp what the reporter is asking her, she curtly replies that if she had any expectations of the Indian government she’d tell it to them rather than the media. And off she went! That showed him.
In case you can’t hear or can’t understand the man’s question, this is what he says, “One more question, please madam, what do you expect from the Indian government, what kind of expectation you are having and what is the opinion of the military government because you were being imprisoned for long time”
Shame on you NDTV – you should have your very best for interviews with such important people. More than the stupidity of the question (and repeating a question she smartly dismissed) in a peaceful setting like Raj Ghat, where the questions should have been more spiritual or even light-hearted, he’s banging on about her imprisonment in the hope of some scoop. Why would she say anything that was remotely undiplomatic of the Junta or anything else, for that matter. We should be putting our best people forward when interviewing such illustrious people like Ms.Suu Kyi.
I think the sulphur and cordite of the Diwali firecrackers got to NDTV’s reporters and editors. But that’s just wishful thinking – they are pretty sloppy most days of the week…