An old saying in Hindi - Once four boys killed a donkey in the village, village folks asked the village priest for proper punishment and atonement. The Priest setup heavy fines, lashes, community time etc for the four boys. Villagers then got the boys in front of the priest, on finding his own son "Santosh" among the boys, priest said in sanskrit "Teen Larika, ek santosh, gadaha mare na koi dosh" meaning "Three boys one Santosh if they kill a donkey there is no fault to anyone".
And this is what is happening, the ABP report compared Sabarmati and Gomti riverfronts and concluded Gomti Riverfront would be a bigger selfie point. Its a sad truth that Indian mainstream news channels don't even do basic homework while reporting and either knowingly or unknowingly aid in consent manufacturing.
The report didn't only gloss out all the glaring violation, but also mis-quoted the expert in the most blatant manner. We have filed a grievance with their internal control department, if we don't hear from them soon will go to NBA.
Here is the letter to Mr. Rawat.
Dear Mr. Kishan Singh Rawat.
We recently saw a report released by your channel on Gomti Riverfront with the link below
First of all its a good report with all the facts and evidences collated together. What we found concerning is the manner it was presented.
Mr. Pankaj Jha presented the report in a very impressive manner, but we believe there were two aspects which defined the tone of the report on the subject, which doesn't match (in our opinion) with the ground truth and the data points presented in the same report.
- Since he is a political reporter of a good repute the content was revolving around the political aspect of Gomti riverfront development, highlighting the shiny lights, fountains, paved surface from the point of vote gathering tactics by current Government, and countering Mr. Modi format of development. It also highlighted how people are flocking to take selfies to highlight its a mass pleasing approach. But the tone used and format of presentation seemed like glorification of the project, while evidences and data points on the same report were pointing otherwise.
- Also there was a misquote done around 4:52 - 5:20 when it was quoted that the experts on the subjects are saying that "its a very good project", but expert never said anything of such effect. All he was telling in a very lucid way the dangers of such development, which got glossed over soon.
Gomti river is a tremendous water system on Ganga Basin and to do justice to the subject, in our opinion, the channel of such a great repute as yours should have provided Mr. Pankaj with an environmental journalist as well, to duly research it from the river's point of view as well.
A major media channel if start considering this major loss of a river system into the glory song of a particular political party, and glosses out any concerns over the issue, is a matter of grave concern. Consent Manufacturing which was the forte of social media if seeps into mainstream media to such an extent can be dangerous to democratic system.
Also drawing parallel between sabarmati and gomti from just the point of political brawny points is not fair. Is such a massive river system just pawn to get a few short term votes? Do we think people will not understand when this river system collapses?
We will keep following up with the channel and authorities for a corrigendum on this report.
Grievance filed (September-15-2016)