NEW DELHI: The Indian media has invited strong criticism from all quarters for ‘insensitive coverage’ of the recent devastating Nepal earthquake that killed more than 7, 000 and left over 14, 000 injured.
Twitter is flooded with tweets bashing up the media here with #GoHomeIndianMedia trending across the micro-blogging site on Sunday and had more than 60, 000 posts on the same.
In the race of becoming the channel with the ‘best coverage’, ‘first and exclusive report’ and ‘extensive’ coverage, several TV channels stooped down to the lowest point. While some asked the survivors to replicate their first reaction on television, others asked the injured victims to narrate their experience and feeling of losing their loved ones.
People across Nepal have vented out their anger and shock ridiculing the nature of reportage in the course of devastation.
#GoHomeIndianMedia going viral on social media has come as a big slap in the face of the journalists who flocked to the country in a bid to bring 24×7 coverage of the disaster to their respective outlets.
Some political leaders including Congress Shashi Tharoor and others saw it as a ‘wake-up call’ for the industry as a whole.
— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) May 3, 2015
An indian news reporter to a mother who's learnt her only son has been buried under their house. Q. How do you feel? #GoHomeIndianMedia
— Prasanna KC (@KC_Prasanna) May 3, 2015
We neighbours have watched Indian TV askance, for competitive jingoism in reportage & talk shows. This explains much of #GoHomeIndianMedia
— Kanak Mani Dixit (@KanakManiDixit) May 3, 2015
— Kanak Mani Dixit (@KanakManiDixit) May 1, 2015
Taking a step forward and reminding the journalists of media ethics, one Sunita Shakya, a citizen of the earthquake-hit Nepal has written an open letter to the Indian media that throws light upon their thirsty journalistic approach towards the serious tragedies.
Here is the full text of the letter:
To Indian media,
I would like to thank from the bottom of my heart for the help your country has provided at this time of crisis in my country, Nepal. All the Nepalese in and outside of the country are thankful to your country.
However, me being a Nepali outside from my motherland, when saw your news and news reports, my heart cried and hurt more than those destruction caused by 7.9 Richter magnitude of earthquake. Like all the medical personnel are taught and trained for potential disasters in future, as a reporter, I hope there is some kind of training on how to report different events. Your media and media personnel are acting like they are shooting some kind of family serials. If your media person can reach to the places where the relief supplies have not reached, at this time of crisis can’t they take a first-aid kit or some food supplies with them as well?
There has been one viral news report going on where a reporter presented how people were fighting for food and one women got injured badly. Thanks to the reporter who had enough time to grab the victim and bring to the camera to show the victim hurt badly on her head. But how surprising, he did not have a minute to grab a piece of cloth to stop bleeding. That reporter did not have a minute to grab the wrist of that person who was beating others with helmet. There was of course a cameraman who does not want to miss a second so that a dramatic news could be presented. I think you are a human before you become a media person. As a responsible person, it was your duty to save someone.
Next, there was this one reporter who had so much time to disturb the rescue workers on asking about technology. If you cannot save one life on that spot, could you please stop bothering others? It looks like, the reporter is new to the world of technology. A show where these technology launching program happens would be better for him to host. Thanks to tons of reporters who came to Nepal from those rescue planes of India, you took a seat where a victim could be transported to hospitals/ health camps. Thanks to you all reporters, you took a seat where a bag of food and supplies could be placed to send to those hardly hit places.
As a human, show your humanity. There are enough programs in this world of television where people can see dramatic shows, family serials, horror shows and nonsense reality shows. You do not have to add more at least in this time of crisis.
MESSAGE TO ALL THE MEDIA PEOPLE WHO ARE ON GROUND NOW IN NEPAL:
Your duty as a reporter is not just to capture the scenario and interview people. If you have access to these critical areas hit hard by earthquake, please take some first-aid kit with you. Take some food supplies, tent and water with you. You don’t have to show how government is not able to send supply there. At least you could reach there, so why can’t you all team up. We Nepali people have already seen and experienced weakness and selfishness of our government all our years. At least this time, everyone show your duty as a human.
MEDIA IS A POWER, IF USED CAREFULLY. OTHERWISE IT COULD ACT LIKE A WEAPON KILLING THOUSANDS OF INNOCENT PEOPLE.
I hope my message will reach out to all the reporters out there.