The video news agency ANI’s role in manufacturing consent for the Narendra Modi government has been blazingly obvious.
Craven interviews with the prime minister; dubious tweets by its staffers; and a host of other incidents have turned ANI into a partisan and “pliable” purveyor at the forefront of the BJP propaganda machine.
Barring a couple of deep dives by The Ken Web and The Caravan, there has not been a closer examination of ANI’s bias and partisanship, especially given Reuters news agency’s partnersip with it.
It has taken the conscience and courage of India’s military veterans to bell the cat.
After 156 veterans wrote to the President of India urging him to stop political parties from milking India’s air strike on Pakistan for electoral purposes, ANI reported that a couple of them had denied signing the missive. This, although an email trail* clearly showed they had agreed for their names to be included, as a report on The Wire clearly demonstrated.
“We believe ANI acted at the behest of India’s ruling party to manipulate our quotes and defame our honourable intentions.
“In our opinion, ANI’s conduct tantamounts to being perfidious with a view to influence the ongoing elections,” the veterans have written to Thomson Reuters.
The Telegraph reports that the veterans have also written to the Press Council of India and the Editors Guild of India, asking if ANI’s “motivated misreporting meets the best practices for editorial propriety”.
Screenshots: courtesy The Telegraph
Read the full article: Veterans write to Reuters
Also read: 18 things you didn’t know about ANI