As a wave of earnestness sweeps across newsrooms over the Delhi gangrape, The Economic Times strikes a blow against the emerging political correctness:
“The media, the general press especially, must recognise that neither public purpose nor journalistic remit is being served by what sometimes appears to be a predetermined decision to find a ‘Nirbhaya headline’. Two unwelcome consequences follow whenever the media refuses to let go and move on in such situations. One, the lack of broader relevance of such stories becomes painfully apparent.
“Two, such stories begin, even if unwittingly, to trivialise the memory of the person and invade the privacy of those who loved her most. When such consequences become apparent, and they clearly are now, the media must self-correct . The bigger lesson here, one that the media should always remember , is that public discourse is inherently dynamic and many-layered.
“Changes, shifts, variety and multiplicity are its defining attributes. No single story, no single newsmaker, no single tragedy or triumph can really define public discourse. Therefore, efforts to impose a single narrative – no matter how well-intentioned – will always seem contrived. The sooner the general press realises this, the better it is for everyone and everything, not least the memory of Nirbhaya.”
Read the full editorial: ‘Media mustn’t force headlines’