Smriti Irani slams PTI once again, this time for a derogatory tweet

Press Trust of India (PTI), India’s “premier” news agency, has lately been in the news rather than reporting news, and worse, it has been in the news for wrong reasons.

Late last month, PTI was slammed by social media users and the Information & Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani, when it was found that PTI had used old pictures from the 2015 Chennai floods, to portray the recent floods in Ahmedabad. The minister asked PTI to immediately correct itself and demanded an explanation from the people concerned.

Earlier, PTI had spread fake news about Manohar Parrikar, the then Defence Minister, planning surgical strikes against Pakistan because he supposedly felt “insulted” by a journalist question. The news agency, whose reports are repeated without fact-check by various media outlets, had also spread fake news about Yogi Adityanath’s government slashing education budget drastically.

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And just a few days ago, PTI was caught peddling fake news yet again, when it claimed that the Government had now made Aadhar mandatory for registration of death with effect from October 1, 2017. This time, along with social media users, it was the Press Information Bureau, which pointed out that PTI had got it’s story incorrect:

Today, PTI was in the line of fire for the following tweet, where they used a strange image for a news update:

While the tweet in itself had no fake news, the choice of picture along with it was a bit bizarre. Out of all the stock pictures of Modi or Nitish Kumar, PTI chose to use the above picture for some unknown reason.

A case can surely be made as to why a news agency had to use an image which would seem mocking a particular group of leaders, when it could just send an update.

Social media users as well as Minister Smriti Irani asked explanations from PTI for their usage of the particular picture:

Within no time, PTI deleted its tweet. After a while, PTI explained its position, with quite an odd reason:

Apparently, PTI felt the need to depict Friendship day hence had to use photos with masks, and not the hundreds of pictures of Modi and Nitish Kumar, talking jovially to each other!

PTI then also apologised for “hurting sentiments”, even though the issue was about using an unusual picture without context:

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.jsThis apology by PTI for “hurting sentiments” could well be the clarion call to sympathetic left-leaning media outlets to portray Smriti Irani as one from the “intolerant” lot. One can very well remember the vile attacks from the press she was subjected to during her tenure as the HRD minister, and if that is something to go by, one cane easily foresee some more attacks soon.

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