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Has Indian media learnt anything from the #GoHomeIndianMedia fiasco?

13-May-2015
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Has Indian media learnt anything from the #GoHomeIndianMedia fiasco?

Within weeks of the devastating earthquake in Nepal that killed over 8,000 people, another deadly earthquake struck the Himalayan nation, sending tremors across north and east India.

As Nepal began picking up the pieces in the aftermath of the first earthquake, India media faced social media backlash over “relentless and aggressive” coverage. #GoHomeIndianMedia, which was created on Twitter for slamming the Indian media, was the top trending hashtag in Nepal with more than 60,000 tweets on the topic in one day.

This time around, Twitterati began wondering if Indian media pay the slightest heed to the open letter by the aggrieved Nepali blogger. From tweets by outraged citizens voicing concerns over the coverage being insensitive (yet again), to it being incorrect, Twitter hasn’t stopped buzzing since the first tremors were felt at around 12.40 pm on Tuesday.

Here are a few excerpts from the day’s most trending topic on Twitter that slammed media (Indian as well as Western media) for reckless and insensitive reportage:
 

“In the case of the Nepal coverage, they (Indian journalists)were behaving like a bunch of kids who were enjoying joyrides on helicopters and trying to return the favour to the military and the government for the great opportunity by competitively lionising them. In the process, the TV channels were turning the whole thing into a spectacle and making a spectacle of themselves. It attracted public opprobrium that led to the hashtag campaign against the Indian media as a whole, although print journalists could claim some excuse for want of opportunity to be garish,” says John Thomas, a former editor who is currently a professor of journalism based in Bangalore.  

Old habits die hard, that’s what can be said about the coverage this time around too. Speculation-based reportage to get maximum traction is all that seems to be the agenda.

 

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