NDTV on Tuesday published a report with a misleading headline attributing statements to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. NDTV had published a report based on Finance Minister’s Nirmala Sitharman’s speech in the Rajya Sabha which was made during the Question Hour on Tuesday.
The report was taken from the news agency Press Trust of India (PTI) feed, whereby the body and the headline of the article so sourced is not edited by the media house.
Interestingly, the twisted statement used in the headline to indulge in negative propaganda against the government does not feature anywhere in the report. In fact, in her speech, there was no such reference to demonetisation or its impact on the Indian economy.
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman took to Twitter to question NDTV and asked from where did they pick up those statements. She said since her reply in Rajya Sabha did not contain this statement, she asked NDTV to watch her answer and even read the copy itself.
Where did this heading come from? Not certainly from my answer in the Rajya Sabha. Your story, based on my answer, also, does not have this line. Please watch my answer in the RS or read your copy(sourced from @PTI_News?) itself.
— Nirmala Sitharaman (@nsitharaman) July 2, 2019
This is not the first time PTI has indulged in spreading misleading news. In September last year, a man was arrested for threatening a citizen with a gun, PTI published the news as he was arrested for ‘abusing’ UP CM Yogi Adityanath. Prior to that, PTI had almost maliciously spread a completely false report about the Yogi government drastically slashing its education budget in Uttar Pradesh, while the truth was that it had actually seen an increase.
In 2017, PTI was slammed for circulating 2015 photograph of Chennai Airport as that of Ahmedabad airport during the incessant rains. Later PTI was caught peddling fake news yet again, when it claimed that the Government had now made Aadhaar mandatory for registration of death with effect from October 1, 2017. CBEC, Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia have on separate incidents claimed PTI of misquoting them, whereas MHA had also denied PTI report claiming Doval attended election meeting at the then Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s house.
PTI or Press Trust of India is a news agency and exchanges information with several other news agencies including 100 news agencies based outside India, such as Associated Press, Agence France-Presse (AFP) and The New York Times. Publication houses subscribe to the agencies like PTI, ANI, etc. for a fee, and use the feed stories where their own reporter could not be present. Usually, the agency stories are published as it is by the publication houses unedited, thereby keeping the responsibility of authenticity of the story on an agency such as PTI. The media houses above could have chosen to edit the headline to give a true reflection of the story, but they chose not to, thereby being complicit in pushing fake news.