“Hold Facebook accountable. Misuse of social media a threat to democracy. Platforms must be agnostic to ideology”: newspaper editorials can’t hide weak reporting

Four days after The Wall Street Journal revealed Facebook’s chief India lobbyist Ankhi Das batting for BJP’s hate mongers, Indian newspapers are unable to add to a story that has deep implications for Indian society and polity.

Also read: FB expose reveals barren cupboard


Even today, there are no revelations and even today only The Telegraph, Calcutta, has it as the lead story. But what the newspapers lack by way of digging and reporting, they somewhat make up with editorial comment.

At least six newspapers, three of them business dailies, have editorials, all with more or less the same refrain.


Hindustan Times


The Financial Express


Deccan Chronicle




Business Standard


The Indian Express


Like The Indian Express which yesterday featured former I&B minister Rajyavardhan Rathore, The Times of India today has an edit page piece by the BJP Rajya Sabha member and media owner Rajeev Chandrasekhar.

And an editorial.


Deccan Herald


  1. Nava Thakuria

    JFA seeks media council to regulate digital entities
    Guwahati: Journalists’ Forum Assam (JFA), while expressing serious concern over various negative developments over digital media entities functioning across the country, has called upon the Centre to empower the existing Press Council as Media Council of India (MCI). “Such a measure would bring news TV channels and digital media entities under the purview of an upgraded and empowered watchdog body. Presently, only newspapers and periodicals are under the purview of the Press Council of India, which is but a quasi-judicial body in need of more powers to curb ethical violations. Unless there is a comprehensive set of guidelines covering electronic media and digital media along with print media, transgressions will continue which will only put mediapersons at risk of official strong-arm action,” the JFA warned in a statement.
    In this context, the JFA referred to a recent controversy in Assam following the arrest of a mass-communication student of Gauhati University, the allegation against him being fraudulently attempting to cheat people through social media outlets. Dipjyoti Gogoi, who hails from Sivsagar district, allegedly posted a sarcastic comment in his Facebook page recently using a screen shot of a news item on Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal’s public appeal for flood relief donations — this news item being carried by the news portal ‘www. nenow.in’ last year. According to the police, Gogoi tried to mislead people with old news and cheat them, besides seeking to malign the government’s image. Apprehended under cyber crime law as well as penal code laws dealing with cheating and fraud, Dipjyoti is still under judicial custody. NortheastNow editor Anirban Roy has already clarified that the particular news item (uploaded on 15 July, 2019) was based on a press release issued by the
    State DIPR. Roy had thereafter apprised the matter to State Chief Secretary Kumar Sanjay Krishna requesting him to direct DIPR for issuing a clarification. In other worrisome developments, a number of individuals involved with news portals/ digital channels have been arrested by the State police on different occasions on suspicion of their roles in unethical journalism and petty crimes. These arrested individuals were allegedly pretending to be scribes.
    “It is understood that around 200 digital news outlets are functioning in Assam alone, and the number will be in tens of thousands for the whole country. The mediapersons working for these entities need clear guidelines about appropriate media practices as well as legal penalties that may be attracted due to violations,” said the statement issued by JFA president Rupam Barua and secretary Nava Thakuria, adding that the Union Government in New Delhi should recognize these new and alternative entities, as well as to bring about a Media Council to formulate guidelines for them at the earliest.

  2. strange media reactions:
    can news features threaten
    the world’s most stable and
    most popular democracy?
    media lords, think again and.

  3. common man

    Doesn’t the right have an equal and opposite right to free speech? According to our Indian english newspapers, free speech in newspapers is only for those who own it. Only left loonies have freedom of speech.All your columns state “our view” & “our take” WHEN are you going to giving someone else’s opposite take? Atleast now we have a platform to air our views. Unless you news papers start giving the other point of view, you are doomed.

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