IPRCCC 2018: Three industry stalwarts discuss the fake news menace

Sunetra Choudhary of NDTV 24/7, Bhupendra Chaubey of CNN News18 and Nilanjana Bhaduri Jha of HT Digital Streams came together to discuss the subject

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Dec 13, 2018 4:43 PM

Three stalwarts from the media industry, Sunetra Choudhary, Political editor, NDTV 24/7,  Bhupendra Chaubey, Executive Editor, CNN News18 and Nilanjana Bhaduri Jha, Chief Content Officer, HT Digital Streams came together along with Actor, Anchor and YouTuber Charles Thomson to discuss the subject--Media penetration and how to ensure authenticity and credibility of information at  IPRCCC, 2018 in New Delhi.

Sunetra Choudhary who anchors the show ‘Reality check’ on NDTV 24/7, said, “Fake news is very relevant to what we do, it is the biggest problem today thanks to Donald Trump. In fact everybody is trying to counter fake news.” Explaining what an organization can do to counter it, she added, “You don’t need a huge team of fact checkers to tackle fake news, simple steps can help. For e.g. If a leader has a rally today and claims every household in the village here has electricity, all we need to do is tell our  reporters to go there and check, get them to talk to people and then convey what they say to the viewers. Old fashioned journalism goes a long way in tackling fake news.”

Adding to that, Bhupendra Chaubey said, “The biggest challenge before conventional journalists is the fact that the gap between conventional PR and the truth is diminishing quickly. The only way to deal with fake news is to make one-self more aware. We live in times when even the data put out by the government can be interpreted in multiple ways. If there is no sanctity even as far as data is concerned, then how do you differentiate between real and fake news.  Personally I never believe any data or information that comes to me via Twitter or Whatsapp --I go by my reporter or verify it myself. Often journalists become a victim of fake news while in the attempt of breaking the story first.”

Nilanjana Bhaduri Jha, who has set up three of India’s premier digital newsrooms, said, “Good journalism takes care of 90% of the filters you need to counter fake news. Often we see a building collapse in Czechoslovakia or some other part of the world being passed on as the footage of a building collapse in Mumbai. Every journalist who works in a newsroom like mine ensures that the news goes through the filters. We trust our own reporters, and even credible news agencies. If a piece of news or video is not verified by our journalists, we don’t run them. We have seen on many occasions other portals blindly copy what we have put out without any attribution, while it doesn’t affect us in a big way, it does affect their credibility.”


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