The Mumbai Edition of reputed Newspaper, The Hindu, published a front page report about a molestation incident during stampede rescue in Mumbai’s Elphinstone Road Suburban Railway Station (officially known as Prabhadevi). According to the newspaper, while the rescue work was taking place, a person molested a victim. The newspaper arrived at the molestation conclusion on the basis of a 8 second video clip. Later, the eye witness account of a bystander revealed that the man accused of molestation was in fact trying to help the woman.
When the Police informed the Newspaper of the fact, the Newspaper not only removed the news from all its online publications, but also published a “Clear, upfront and conscientious” multiple apologies in all the platforms where the report was published. The apology was conscientious in a sense that it clearly admitted that by arriving at a conclusion based on a 8 second clip, the newspaper (and the Media Group) has failed its duty to adhere to journalistic norms. The Media Group published a series of apology Tweets from its Official Twitter account. The Editor of The Hindu, Mumbai edition, published a series of clear, upfront and conscientious tweets from his Twitter account as well.
It’s very sad that a reputed newspaper like The Hindu, falls for the lure for instant News and derives its conclusion based on a 8 second video clip. But the good that once again emerged out of the incident is that the newspaper had the guts to render a unfailing, clear apology. It’s even good that it accepted its mistake of not following the “Journalistic Dharma”. The act of accepting the folly means that the Newspaper will be more cautious in future.
To conclude, one thing which separates publications such as The Hindu from many other media houses, channels and websites, is the Apology. When publications such as The Hindu make a mistake, or if a mistake is brought to their notice, they not only render a sincere apology, they also remove and encourage others (who shared the report) to remove it, in its entirety. A quality which is rarely seen these days.