Editors Guild condemns Andhra channels for 'malicious' broadcasts
New Delhi: The Editors Guild of India Friday expressed concern at some news channels' unsubstantiated reports about the circumstances leading to the death of the then Andhra Pradesh chief minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy in a chopper crash.
"Such reporting is sensational in nature and goes against the basic ethics, standards and principles of journalism. That such reporting triggered some violence in certain parts of Andhra Pradesh is highly unfortunate," the Guild said in a statement.
Andhra Pradesh police have registered cases against owners of the Telugu TV channel TV 5 for airing a "baseless and malicious" report about an alleged conspiracy behind Reddy's death in a chopper crash last year. The report sparked violence in Andhra Pradesh and attacks on Reliance stores.
The TV 5 story was based on a report on a Russian website that alleged the Ambani brothers were behind the helicopter crash in which the chief minister was killed on Sep 2 last year.
Police said notices would also be issued to other TV channels that aired the story after TV 5 began telecasting the report Thursday night.
"It may be pertinent to reiterate that news organisations should exercise all possible rigour and cross-checking of facts, source and motivation of the information before disseminating it in public," the Guild said.
In a separate statement, the Broadcast Editors' Association said airing of an "unsubstantiated and unverified" story by channels defied all well-laid norms and principles of journalism.