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Adyar Gopal Parivar
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This website is a renovated website of Adyar Gopal Parivar. I am Dr. Mohan G Shenoy inviting you to visit and explore the website.
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By Mohan Shenoy

        The Press is the medium through which people are informed of happenings, generally referred to as the News. The News can be distributed not only through the printed periodicals but also through the electronic media like the radio and television.

        Generally the information conveyed is true and accurate. But the usage of phrases and words in the News can give different meanings to the readers and viewers. This is often done deliberately to misinform the intended targets.

        For example the News of the death of Swami Lakshmanananda Saraswathi in the Kandhamal violence was reported by a Press Trust of India correspondent. The first publication of the News contained the story as the death of a VHP leader. There was no mention that the person was a Hindu Swami and also there was no mention that there were 3 or 4 four others who died along with the Swami. There was no mention that there were two women among the dead. There was no mention that the death occurred by shooting to kill the victims.

        At the same time there was extensive rioting by the tribals to protest the killings. The attacks by the tribals was described as religious riots while in fact the rioting was in response to the killing of the Swami. By not disclosing the fact that one Hindu Swami and two women were killed the PTI tried to hide the facts from the public as to the cause of the riots.

        By not disclosing that the victims were Hindus the PTI was trying to lessen the severity of the event and reaction it can provoke among the Hindus. But by incomplete reporting the event of the killings PTI tried to give more importance to the riots that took place. The riots resulted in destruction of a few Christian churches and also arson and destruction of property belonging to the upper class villagers most of whom happened to be Christians.

        The impression created was that the reaction of the tribals was disproportionate to the killing of one VHP leader. The PTI report gave very little significance of murder of the four Hindu social workers among whom there were two women.

        The first report gave an impression that the huge riots were unjustified, and that the riots were purely religious and not social. The riots were social because the Swami was working to prevent the conversion of Hindu tribals by the Christian missionaries in Kandhamal and elsewhere in the state of Orissa. This fact was totally blanked out by PTI.

        There is biased reporting by major News distributors in India and elsewhere in the world in order to serve the interests of some. This is done even if the distributors have undertaken to accurate and fair reporting of the News.

        Recently the News of the recommendation of the Chief Election Commissioner for removal of the Election Commissioner to the President was similarly misreported. In the commentary on the newspapers in the Breakfast Show of the Doordarshan the Indian Express front page was misrepresented by cutting and pasting the Expresso page over the Front page of the main section in order to hide the important critic published on the latter page. Only the title of the newspaper in the front page of the main section was made to be visible and the critic regarding the recommendation of the CEC for removal of EC was totally blanked out.

        It is unfortunate that the powers that control distribution of the News disregard the basic rule of news=reporting which is to print the News fairly and accurately. At least the reporting should not be seen as being biased in favour of one or other kind of thought or idea.Concluded.