Sunday, April 12, 2009


Morality evolved along with the human societies for the good of social life. The present day human societies demand morality in every sphere of social life. So demands every professional field. Morality of the news media is its adherence to truthfulness of the report on a matter or incident presented to the reader/viewer. A news medium can be partisan. It is not immorality. But if a medium pretends to be neutral and acts in a partisan way then it is immorality. That is what exactly a Malayalam television news channel owned by the media lord Rupert Murdoch is doing.
This is poll time in India. So the news channel presented an opinion poll conducted by it. The study was conducted in such a way some facts are concealed and some facts are distorted. One question presented in the questionnaire was whether the alliance with the communal party was detrimental to the Left Democratic Front or not. This question was aimed at the decision taken by the Peoples Democratic Party chaired by Mr. Ma'dani who was in jail for 10 years as an undertrial for the alleged involvement in the bomb explosion aimed at the then Deputy Prime Minister and the Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh (RSS) man Mr. L.K.Advani. The court let Mr. Ma'dany free as there was no evidence against him. Mr. Ma'dany publicly declared that in the past he was wrong in doing inciting speeches while protesting against the demolition of the sixteenth century mosque, Babri Masjid, by the RSS. He also publicly declared that he would not do such inciting speeches in future. Ignoring these facts the Rupert Murdoch channel started maligning Mr. Ma'dany by presenting lies such that Mr. Ma'dany and his wife Ms. Soofiya Ma'dani are involved in some terrorist activities as "news". The reason behind the creation of maligning "news" and its propagation led by the Murdoch medium was that Mr.Ma'dani declared that his party would support the Left Democratic Front (LDF). The Murdoch medium is supporting the United Democratic Front (UDF) which is pro-American and pro-Israeli in its foreign policy. There is no immorality in supporting a party or a front in politics but clandestine activities in its favour in the guise of neutral surveys and studies are immoral. In the said opinion poll survey the news channel included a question whether the alliance with the communal party would affect the LDF implying the decision of Mr.Ma'dani to support LDF. At the same time it omitted the question whether the decision of the Islamic Fundamentalist organization, Popular Front of India, which is actually involved in terrorist activities in Kashmir and some of its recruits were killed in the ambush by the Indian Army, to support the UDF was omitted in the questionnaire. Thus the news channel committed a distortion and omitted a fact. The survey result was that 65% of the voters the workers of the medium met during the field survey would vote for the UDF. It was presented with much fanfare in prime time. This is really an immoral act on the part of a news channel.
MARC W. HEROLD wrote in Frontline on the US terror in Afghanistan "U.S. corporate media spin involves both lying by omission and commission. For example, how many Americans know that U.S. forces burned the bodies of alleged Taliban fighters after laying them out facing Mecca? Had the burning of dead Taliban fighters not been recorded by the Australian reporter Stephen DuPont, employed by SBS Dateline, the outrageous action would no doubt have gone unnoticed (as have presumably numerous other such actions by U.S. military personnel in Afghanistan). The incident took place on October 1, 2005, above the village of Gonbaz in Shah Wali Kot district of Kandahar province. The day before, the U.S. unit had been ambushed and the firefight had left one U.S. occupation soldier dead (Staff Sgt. John Doles). The U.S. occupation forces of the 1st Battalion, 508th Infantry Regiment of the 173rd Army Airborne Brigade, laid out the bodies of two Taliban men also killed on September 30 on a ridge line facing Mecca, then burnt the bodies and taunted their opponents about the corpses, in a manner profoundly offensive to Muslims and in breach of the Geneva Conventions. Cremation is not a Muslim custom and the Geneva Conventions stipulate that the enemy dead should be honourably buried."

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