Sunday, May 10, 2015

Unethical journalism: Praveen Swami's reports now sully Indian Express' image of fair journalistic practices

A sensational story about an 'Islamic state cell in MP' has brought back focus on Praveen Swami style of journalism--sensationalist, unconfirmed and questionable as it has nothing to do with real journalism and ethical journalistic practices.


The report "First Islamic state module busted, 5 held in MP', made claims but there was nothing to substantiate it. There were sweeping statements and wild sensational statements., based on 'highy placed police and intelligence sources'. 

Interesting, no police officer corroborated this version though police are generally eager to hold press conferences and claim success in such cases of busting 'terror cell or module'. The story had a joint byline Praveen Swami and Milind Ghatwai.


But there was no attempt to talk to MP police top brass or its ATS wing. Still, the newspaper then went ahead with the follow-up.

Local papers clearly mentioned that there was no confirmation that the arrested person had terror links but Express went miles ahead to issue judgment that it was a terror module.

Swami has been a controversial journalist and questions were raised on his journalistic practices when he used to work for the respectable The Hindu.

However, after questions were raised over how youth acquitted by courts, had been declared 'criminals' and terrorists, much before trial in similar sounding reports, his name got into disrepute.

Why he does it? Why the reporters on national security beat do it?

Apparently, the idea is to keep 'inventing enemies', keep focus on 'IM, IS' inks, demonise people, highlight minor criminals and term them as terrorists, and 'plant stories' with a purpose. 

Now, he is in Indian Express, and again the dubious practices have begun. Jamia Teachers' Solidarity Association (JTSA) responded to the 'Praveen Swami fictions'.

The response was published in letters to editor column of the same newspaper. Later, it was carried on JTSA and other places too.

So you can write anything you want based in your home, without even the need to verify, cross-check, without the version of cops or the complainants or even the accused!

WHAT CARAVAN WROTE ABOUT THE COMPROMISED NATIONAL SECURITY BEAT

The Caravan had this to say about Praveen Swami's reporting:
Swami’s critics find this intimacy seeping out in his writing. His reporting relies heavily on generic unnamed sources—“investigators believe”, “sources said”, “according to police”—and there’s a belligerence and one-size-fits-all Islamophobia to his analyses that seems of a piece with the security establishment’s dominant worldview. In Delhi’s media circles, there are several widely circulated rumours about Swami’s relationship to the IB. One claims that the agency did him a great favour early in his career, and that he remains indebted to it. Another says the IB has a dossier with which it is blackmailing him. - See more at: http://www.caravanmagazine.in/reportage/known-unknowns?page=0,2#sthash.LOQNEcXq.dpuf

Swami’s critics find this intimacy seeping out in his writing. His reporting relies heavily on generic unnamed sources—“investigators believe”, “sources said”, “according to police”—and there’s a belligerence and one-size-fits-all Islamophobia to his analyses that seems of a piece with the security establishment’s dominant worldview. In Delhi’s media circles, there are several widely circulated rumours about Swami’s relationship to the IB. One claims that the agency did him a great favour early in his career, and that he remains indebted to it. Another says the IB has a dossier with which it is blackmailing him.

Swami’s critics find this intimacy seeping out in his writing. His reporting relies heavily on generic unnamed sources—“investigators believe”, “sources said”, “according to police”—and there’s a belligerence and one-size-fits-all Islamophobia to his analyses that seems of a piece with the security establishment’s dominant worldview. In Delhi’s media circles, there are several widely circulated rumours about Swami’s relationship to the IB. One claims that the agency did him a great favour early in his career, and that he remains indebted to it. Another says the IB has a dossier with which it is blackmailing him. - See more at: http://www.caravanmagazine.in/reportage/known-unknowns?page=0,2#sthash.LOQNEcXq.dpuf
Swami’s critics find this intimacy seeping out in his writing. His reporting relies heavily on generic unnamed sources—“investigators believe”, “sources said”, “according to police”—and there’s a belligerence and one-size-fits-all Islamophobia to his analyses that seems of a piece with the security establishment’s dominant worldview. In Delhi’s media circles, there are several widely circulated rumours about Swami’s relationship to the IB. One claims that the agency did him a great favour early in his career, and that he remains indebted to it. Another says the IB has a dossier with which it is blackmailing him. - See more at: http://www.caravanmagazine.in/reportage/known-unknowns?page=0,2#sthash.LOQNEcXq.dpuf


Read the recent Praveen Swami report
Read JTSA rebuttal to Indian Express report
Read Caravan's report on Praveen Swami's journalism in CARAVAN

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