Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Sorry to Rain on NDTV's Gaza Parade

NDTV has been riding high on its correspondent Srinivasan Jain's widely touted "rare footage" of a Hamas crew setting up and firing a rocket into Israel from a residential area in Gaza.

His cameraman evidently filmed the whole sequence from their hotel window.

The station, the only Indian broadcaster with a crew in Gaza, has been airing boastful commercials about its "real journalism" in an obvious effort to deflate the effort of arch rival Times Now to present its constant screaming hysteria as "journalism of courage."

In that rivalry my sympathies are entirely with NDTV, for it is significantly more professional than Times Now.

However, the Hamas story would have got a failing grade in any good journalism school.

For starters, how did Jain know the crew was from Hamas?

As he did not speak to the supposed Hamas operatives, what -- or rather who -- identified them?

Did he make any effort to check with Hamas?

Could the whole thing have been a set-up?

The "rare footage" was broadcast with no mention of any of those details. 

Jain is among the best reporters on Indian television, but in the treacherous terrain of the Middle East, he should have seen the need to be far more wary.   

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