Friday, January 2, 2009

Why the New Indian Express is speaking in two Voices?

You may remember my criticism of New Indian Express[NIE] in the post titled Mr.Editor Why are you so blood thirsty?
Now the Newspaper has written an editorial about the Gaza massacre. Here are some excerpts.

"The brutal massacre of innocent Palestinians in Gaza by the Israeli military needs to be condemned. It is an assault that has no justification, despite the efforts by Israeli government leaders to insist that the military attack was in response to rockets being launched by the Hamas.. . ......
. . .The UPA government has left it to the Congress to criticise the action, with some sections even drawing parallels between the situation in Israel and India.
This is absurd, to say the least, as there is just no comparison between the two countries. Israel is the aggressor against a proud people who have been turned out of their homeland, and have been struggling to regain a life of dignity and justice.

The world has turned away from the Palestinians struggle, including friends like India, leaving Israel with a virtually free playing field.
. . .India must recall its days as a leader of the non-aligned movement, a voice for the developing world, and take the lead now to condemn Israel and urge the United Nations to broker immediate peace. Iraq and Afghanistan will continue to burn and peace will remain elusive until the Palestinian issue is resolved.. . .

Oooh...... I rechecked to see whether I am reading the New Indian Express or The Hindu. Yes it is New Indian Express. The same newspaper which headlined [on first page of December 28 issue] Israel strikes as India dithers, there by implying Israel and India are in similar position and that India should attack Pakistan....!
Why this sudden change of mind on the part of NIE?
There was another report about Indian response to Gaza strike in the same newspaper. This was in line with the hawkish headline of December 28.
Most of the headlines and Op-ed articles in NIE after 26/11 was hawkish, anti-minority and baying for blood and war[see 1 2 3 4].
As far as I can make out, Indian Express editorials speaks in a different voice than most of its headlines and Op-ed articles.
Are they sure that the people they want to incite will only read the headlines and not the editorials?
Do they feel that by writing a more sober viewpoint in editorials NIE can escape criticism of war mongering?

7 comments:

  1. Brilliant observation. Yes this is plain hypocrisy. The editorial sounds sane even when there is madness in the headlines.That way they keep their feet planted firmly on the ground. Newspapers should not be allowed to get away with it.They should be held accountable for their remarks because these are always calculated and never careless.

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  2. Thank you Atticus. The editorial was saying sense but the headlines were insane.Many do not read their newspapers carefully.So the newspapers and Channels get away with anything

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  3. hey, you beat me to it. i was planning to write about israel striking and india dithering and the volte face by the same paper the next day :D.
    yes strange isn't how any paper can indulge in such blatant doublespeak. your explanation that the reader who is likely to get easily provoked doesnt read the oped page seems to be the answer to this shameful behaviour of the NIE.
    thanks for the greetings.
    happy new year to you

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  4. I have some knowledge of working of a daily newspaper. Though I am a journalist, I don't work for NIE nor I hold any brief for the paper or media in general. I thought I might just try to explain the paradox you are refering to.

    News pages reflect facts, edits reflect the views of the publication.

    "Israel strikes, India dithers" is a fact. If you remember with troops being amassed on the border and the service chiefs' unusual meetings with the PM and defence minister, there was talk of surgical or precision strikes (actually unlike what now Israel is doing.) So, seen objectively, Israel did strike and India did dither.

    All statements of facts are open to interpretation from various angles and against various contexts... Like you have done. What you interpreted is definitely fair and I don't think anyone can object. That's your personal interpretation.

    Now, whether that headline hid behind it any suggestion that India should have struck like Israel... like you suggest... will be known only if we find out that anonymous copyeditor or headline writer who gave that crisp headline.

    Now edits are viewpoints, analytical and interpretative. Here unlike the headline there is no ambiguity. Again, here one is free to agree or disagree with the views, just as one is free to interpret facts in any which way.

    All media outlets disseminate information of various kinds. Going beyond the headline or reading between the lines, can get a bit confusing only because of the sheer volume of information that is packed and the complexity of hues.

    Here my attempt has been only to give a dispassionate, objective, journalistic explanation of the point you raised. I am in no way making a judgement or comment on the interpretation you have made.

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  5. Thank you for the comment.Reading Indian Express for the last 15-20 years I know what the editorial team in NIE is up to.I summed it up in last 2 lines of my post. Of all the newspapers I read NIE was in fore front in advocating war.I gave the links of op-ed by its own editor and other columnists expressing similar views. Only a blind person[or one who willingly close his eyes] can fail to understand the suggestion behind the headline.No need for an investigation to find out the 'anonymous copy editor'. It would have been much better for NIE and those who advocate war to be open about it.Rather than hiding behind a camouflage

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  6. Hi,
    Your blog is really interesting... Good Luck...keep writing.

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  7. Welcome to this blog Femin Susan.Thank you happy 2009 to you

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Comments are welcome especially if you do not think like me. But anonymous comments behind masks and those not relevant to the post are not encouraged.