Despite repeated requests from the NSG and the Army personnel to refrain from showing the live footage of the anti-terrorist operations at Mumbai, the media is playing out a farce and continuing to show sensitive live footage of the operations.

I was just watching the NDTV guys play out a live act (yes, I choose to call it an act) where they were ostensibly deciding whether showing the footage was jeopardising the operation or not. Then Srinivasan Jain decided to give a live commentary of what was happening as they were requested not to broadcast live footage.

At one point he said, “I think the terrorists inside already know they are being attacked by grenade launchers. So we can now talk about it”.

Why can’t these otherwise intelligent journalists understand that any information they are sharing could be sensitive to the operation, and in terms jeopardising the lives of the brave soldiers who are fighting the terrorists on our soil.

Even as I type this newscaster Vikram asked Srinivasan Jain to get the camera closed in on his face, so that no sensitive information was going to be shown.

Barely 10 seconds later there was a loud sound. And the camera immediately panned and tilted and zoomed to the window that was targetted by the security forces! And then Srinivasan was right there asking the cameraperson to zoom right in to show the window being damaged, and then asking to zoom out a little for a better view! Perhaps in the excitement he forgot what he was saying a second back?

After a brief silence he is now back saying “thoda sa left mein zoom kare”. The bloody morons (excuse me, but I think this expletive is well deserved) are showing the exact windows and floors and wings that are being attacked.

Whatever happened to media restraint? Whatever happened to Media Ethics?

The adrenaline took over! Ethics is only for the textbooks?

For a brief moment there was news that the news media was blocked out in Mumbai. While this was a good move, what prevents these terrorists from getting their information from accomplices outside of Mumbai?

I am totally for a total ban on any and all live footage (visual/audio) being telecast during the operation. I would go to the extent of saying that the media should be held responsible for the deaths of the security personnel whose operations may have indeed been compromised due to the live streaming of the footage, especially the paramilitary forces dropping in to the building, and the NSG moving in for the operations.

Many of these so-called journalist I had held in high esteem in the past. Not anymore. I am today as of this moment totally ashamed of the media behaviour.

I am close to being ashamed of being associated with the craft of journalism.

PS: And in the meantime Mr Srinivasan Jain continues to amaze me by “not showing operational details”!

2 Comments

  1. “not showing operational details” sounded like a chant…but the ‘actions’ were contradictory. Nariman house operations – they kept saying something on the same lines and one could make out its a farce because every opportunity they got to show live footage, they did. which building the comandos were air dropped, which floor they were in bla bla…and as soon as they switched to ‘earlier recording’ it was, ‘this is recording of a FEW SECONDS ago…’

    just cannot understand why we need this second to second details of such a delicate operation being carried out by the best of the country’s forces. it makes it all look like we are watching public fireworks – one fire and there are voices of amazement from the crowd!! phew!!!!
    i thought we had such a frenzy only with cricket – watching a test match ball to ball!! thats fine. not this!! it is already an ordeal of more than 30 hrs – lets give the army, NSG and others a break – let them do what they want to do peacefully. i am sure every one of us will be more than relieved to hear when these operations are finally over.

  2. I agree. Report when progress is made, when hostages are freed, but not the blow by blow plans of the operation… 🙁

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