Times of India, a widely circulated and popular newspaper and digital media outlet has apologized for its usage of the wrong photo of a couple for an unrelated story.
TOI had carried news about a man killing his wife and mother-in-law and then shot himself dead on 23rd June in the morning. With the article, the newspaper has shared the picture of a couple who shared the same name but totally unrelated to the incident.
TOI had published the article on both print and online mediums. This misreporting by TOI was busted when Shilpi and Amit Agarwal (the couple whose photo was used) posted a video on Facebook to point out that they are doing fine. In their video, Shilpi and Amit Agarwal clarified that they were doing well and happy and that the article was misrepresented. They also wanted the media house to correct the mistake at the earliest.
This is what the journalism has come down to in India. Whatever small amount of trust I had on TOI and on Indian journalism has just gone down the drain. We (Amit Agarwal & Shilpi Agarwal) are doing totally fine and this incident is nowhere related to us. This has really shocked our family and friends and caused a chaos this morning for us.TOI, please fix this asap with a correction and formal apology. Once again, we are fine and thanks to all the loved ones who are concerned about us. We are happy and together like never before 🙂 #incorrectnews #timesofindia #fakenews #TOINewslink: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kolkata/man-kills-estranged-wife-in-bluru-mom-in-law-in-kol-shoots-self/articleshow/76519987.cms
Posted by Foods And Flavors on Monday, June 22, 2020
After the video from the couple became viral, later in the day, TOI updated its article online at around 2.45 PM and has issued an apology- “We had inadvertently uploaded a wrong photo in this story. We sincerely apologise for this error.”
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However, incidents like these bring to the fore the issue of unethical, unprofessional, and irresponsible reporting by the media outlets in recent years.
In a mad rush of “Breaking News” and being the fastest to break a story, many times the reporters do not care to verify the source of information or the full story from the point of ethical reporting.
Thank youu, Arun. This was an error that shouldn’t have happened. Period!
Can well imagine what the couple has gone through because of this horrendous mistake. I want to personally apologise to them.
We relied on an official source that the world relies on. Learnt our lesson 🙁
— Rajesh Kalra (@rajeshkalra) June 23, 2020
The rampant misreporting and disinformation is not new but the fast and disposable way for news reporting has been troubling, to say the least.
The recent incident of wrong reporting of the accidental death of a pregnant elephant was spun out of control and ended up blaming a whole community and state of Kerala for the death of the elephant.
Rajesh Kalra, Chief Editor of Times Digital has publicly apologized for the mistake carried out by his outlet in response to a tweet made by Arun Bothra. However, one can only imagine that one apology will change the ways of the media or will make them reflect on their irresponsible behaviour.