Journalism used to be a profession of keeping the public at large informed with hard facts and cold analysis. It is tragic, however, that with each passing day, journalists have morphed into propagandists covertly canvassing for political parties they agree with.
Paranjoy Guha Thakurta is one such “journalist” who proved yet again that the profession’s landscape is fast changing. A day before the crucial elections to be held in the state of Karnataka, Thakurta decided to spread brazen lies about the advertisements of BJP in various newspapers.
He appeared to have placed various newspapers carefully on the table to illustrate how BJP had summarily excluded BS Yedyurappa from their ads and had only focussed on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP Party President Amit Shah.
However, he was soon called out by various people who presented the facts. It turns out, that Thakurta had carefully placed the newspapers in order to hide the bottom half of the advertisement where BS Yedyurappa was prominently visible.
Propaganda Vs Reality pic.twitter.com/Z0G6no3R0G
— Chintan Shah (@chintan20) May 11, 2018
Some even pointed out that the ‘Bombay Mirror’ newspaper displayed by Thakurta indeed had the entire advertisement and that it was unbelievable that a “senior journalist” can spread lies so blatantly.
Look at Bangalore mirror ad, that’s the layout printed in all papers! Folds papers to hide Yeddyurappa’s face and then asks where he is! Can’t believe a “senior journalist “ is deliberating misrepresenting facts to peddle agenda. What a shame! https://t.co/xCerAWurre
— Namrata (@_Namrataa) May 11, 2018
After the uproar, Paranjoy Guha Thakurta apologised for his lie and said he would be careful next time.
I apologise for tweeting a picture of the front pages of this morning’s Bangalore newspapers where Narendra Modi and Amit Shah are featured on the top half omitting BS Yeddyurappa who has been depicted in the bottom half of the pages. I will be careful in the future.
— ParanjoyGuhaThakurta (@paranjoygt) May 11, 2018
However, it is noteworthy that Thakurta’s apology didn’t follow the tweet in which he had lied brazenly and the tweet where he lied has not been deleted until the time this article was published. Essentially, anyone reading only the previous tweet of Thakurta wouldn’t know it is a lie. Also, one has to wonder why Thakurta would not delete a tweet where he was caught clearly misrepresenting the facts, albeit, deliberately.
This raises an important question. If it was indeed Thakurta himself who laid out the papers to deliberately mislead people or was this photograph forwarded to him by someone else, and Thakurta failed to do the ethical thing by checking facts before tweeting.