July 31, 2015, has possibly gone down in history as one of the most talked about days for Indian media. Two of the country’s biggest newspaper publications, The Times of India and The Indian Express, are facing flak over their coverage of the last rites of ex-President, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, and terrorist Yakub Memon.
The front page of Times of India carried Yakub Memon’s execution and funeral as the lead story, whereas, the coverage of Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam’s funeral found a small top corner of the paper.
Similarly, The Indian Express’s Memon coverage was found to be the front page lead, whereas, Dr. Kalam’s funeral report was sidelined as second lead.
Social media networks have not stopped buzzing since. Netizens are slamming TOI and The Indian Express over their respective coverage, insensitivity, and lack of patriotism. Hashtags #shameonTOI and #shameonindianexpress have been trending on Twitter.
From senior journalists, to social media commentators, all expressed unanimous criticism over media coverage of these two pieces of news. Here are a few excerpts: