‘Kashmir media writes responsibly, professionally’
A US based journalist and Director of Center for Global Peace Journalism at Park University USA, Steven Youngblood Friday termed Indian news channels as “right-wing propaganda machines” and compared them with Fox News USA for their ‘conservative bias’ and ‘judgmental reporting’.
Youngblood however expressed satisfaction over the reporting by Kashmir’s local media for their “careful and professional use of language and terminology about sensitive issues.”
“When I landed here I started following the television news and newspaper reportage. And let me tell you honestly I was shocked after watching Indian news channels. I think they have started following Fox News and its unethical journalistic practices for which it has been criticized across the globe. Like some of the American news channels Indian media is also indulging in selective bias and judgmental reporting,” he told on the sidelines of an event here.
He is on a maiden visit to Kashmir and India to participate in a workshop at Islamic University of Science and Technology (IUST), Awantipora in collaboration with the Department of Journalism.
The journalist said there seems to be no end to the examples our world produces that demonstrate the need for a better approach to journalism in this part of the world.
“The latest example occurred on Wednesday in a neighboring state, Punjab, where 10 people were killed during an attack in Gurdaspur. Three attackers were also killed after a prolonged standoff. The coverage of this event on News X, Times Now, and CNN-IBN was reminiscent of American cable news coverage of mass shootings or attacks. I think the Indian cable coverage was sensational, one sided, finger-pointing, and distorted. This coverage I viewed last night was irresponsible, pointing the finger of blame at Pakistan immediately after the attack and before any investigation was conducted,” he said.
He termed screaming animated graphics on Times Now announcing “Attackers were from Pakistan” before this was proven as “ridiculous.”
“The other channels were only a bit more subtle, announcing in their graphics ‘Pak(istan) hand nailed?’ and ‘Pak hand?’. Not only were no voices advocating calm or peace heard, the cable coverage here even went as far as to dismiss efforts at peace (India pays price for appeasement’, Soft on India haters,’ ‘Talks or Terror: Time to Decide.’). Finally, although the Pakistan foreign minister condemned the attack, only CNN-IBN mentioned this during my 90 minutes of viewing, and that mention was only a 10-second flashing of a graphic,” Youngblood said adding that this cable TV coverage provided grist for a day-long discussion he had with students at IUST, Awantipora.
He said his Centre was planning to start an initiative where journalists from India and Pakistan would come on a common platform to promote peace journalism and address issues related to journalism.
“I would love to have a common platform in Kashmir for such interactions,” Youngblood said.