How an unverified picture about Doklam made it to Times Group’s newspaper and news channel

Early morning on 19th August, Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari tweeted two pictures saying these are sent to him by a friend claiming these are the roads are from the Indian side to Doklam and are in “pathetic” condition:

Seeing the pictures, Bhutanese journalist Tenzing Lamsang quoted the tweet and called it as final stretch of road to Doklam, which could be in Sikkim:

In subsequent tweet, he clarified that his tweet about probable place where the picture might be clicked was based on the photograph tweeted by the Congress spokesperson. That he was just making an educated guess:

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He said he it could be last stretch of road from Indian side based on the vegetation seen in the picture:

Tewari immediately held on to the first tweeet by Lamsang and said how the Bhutanese journalist “confirmed” that this is Indian road:

He conveniently missed out the part where the picture was sent to him “by his friend on ground”. It was now somehow the responsibility of the Bhutanese journalist, even though he had clarified that he was ‘comfortably based’ in Thimpu and not confirming anything about the ground situation in or around Doklam.

Soon, Times of India, in its 21st August edition printed the above picture claiming Bhutanese journalist Tenzing Lamsang tweeted the said picture.

Picture tweeted by a Congress leader is being claimed as picture tweeted by a Bhutanese journalist

Tenzing Lamsang even tweeted to Times of India about the error, giving them benefit of doubt that they might have assumed he tweeted the picture since Congress Spokesperson Manish Tewari had retweeted his tweet:

But that still wasn’t enough. Not only did Times of India not acknowledge the error, their news channel, Times Now, even ran an exclusive video of how they have access to Indian side of Doklam giving ‘credit’ to Tenzing Lamsang for the pictures:

In their defence, they did say how Times Now cannot verify these images, which they claimed were of Chinese army vehicles moving inside Doklam region.

(Please note, the narrative has changed from exclusive image of Indian side of Doklam to Chinese army invading Indian side of Doklam – all over unverified images.)

Tenzing Lamsang, on his side, cried himself hoarse that Times of India has got the story completely wrong, but it all fell on deaf ears.

In a Facebook post, he lashed out against The Times of India for misreporting on Bhutan:

Bhutanese journalist lashes out at Indian journalism

He even requested Times of India and Times Now to correct their “blunder” but no such correction seems to have been made.

At a time when Doklam is a sensitive issue concerning India, such casual attitude of a leading media house is really unfortunate.


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