The Mumbai terror attacks coverage on television, while bringing all the action to homes across the country, drew some flak for journalists covering the events. An impact-IMRS news channel perception survey conducted among advertising, marketing and the media professionals in the five metros of Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai and Bangalore found that while 65 per cent felt the TV news was factual, 57 per cent felt that the TV journalists were insensitive while asking questions to victims and their families.
In the survey commissioned by impact, the weekly magazine of the exchange4media Group, prepared by leading opinion research firm IMRS Advisory Pvt Ltd this December, more than half the participants felt that journalists had been insensitive while covering the Mumbai terror attacks. The survey also revealed that private Indian news channels were trusted most by the participants for authentic information. The survey was conducted last week (on December 5 and 6, 2008) and 105 top professionals were interviewed.
Anurag Batra, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief, exchange4media, said, “The media and the news media have a special role to play in times of national issues and events. At exchange4media and impact, it is our effort to ascertain what the industry feels about the coverage of the terror attacks so that it can be used for introspection and action.”
Of the total number of people who participated in the survey, 57 per cent felt that journalists had been insensitive while asking questions to victims and their families. Among the marketing fraternity specifically, 60 per cent agreed with this, while among advertising companies, 57 per cent said ‘yes’. Only 44 per cent among the non-television media professionals interviewed agreed that TV journalists were insensitive.
The survey also showed that an overall 50 per cent of the participants trusted private news channels in India for authentic information, more than they trusted Government channels like Doordarshan and All India Radio (AIR), as well as international channels like BBC and CNN. The survey showed that Indian Government-owned media were trusted the least (22 per cent voted for Doordarshan and 4 per cent for AIR), while international channels were trusted by around 36 per cent of the overall participants.
Participants were also asked whether they found the coverage factual or exaggerated, whether the temporary black-out was justifiable, whether an interview with a terrorist was a form of glorifying him, and whether the Government should have a code of conduct for the television news media.