Turkish state-owned news agency Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT World) has recently published a report on the rising number of Covid cases across the world with an emphasis on India. In a report titled “India sees record daily rises in virus infections, deaths”, TRT World penned down how India has reported over 400,000 cases. While publishing the information about the crisis India is facing, TRT World had used a photograph of burning pyres from Nepal as a featured image.
On both TRT World and TRT World Now (the agency’s account that shares the latest updates) published the said photograph without mentioning that it was from Nepal.
Even in the news report, Nepal was mentioned only once under the image. In the rest of the report, there was no mention of Nepal which raises the question over the intention of the editorial team of the Turkish News Agency.
The image source was noticed and exposed by a Twitter user codenamed ‘Counter Propaganda Division’ who wrote, “MISINFORMATION ALERT! @TRTWorldNow releases images of Kathmandu crematorium, meaning to depict the Indian death toll. Editorial oversight or deliberate distortion?”
The original source of the image was news agency Reuters. The image was first published by Reuters on May 5 in a gallery titled “Nepal overwhelmed by surge of COVID infections”. The photograph depicted workers wearing PPE extending the crematorium amidst a rising number of deaths due to Covid in Kathmandu, Nepal. It was clicked by photojournalist Navesh Chitrakar.
Obsession of Western Media with cremation pictures
Since the surge of Covid-19 cases in India, the unsettling obsession of the western, and even Indian mainstream media towards the death and destruction caused by the infection has come to light. The reports in international media are filled with photographs of cremation grounds. As a cherry on the top, the news agencies are selling these photographs for hundreds of dollars (Rs.23,000) on stock image websites. The biggest contributors for such images were Hindustan Times, AFP, Nur Photos and others.