Forced journalism can't hijack public opinion

The falsified PTI dispatch
of Sept 7 that YSR Congress party honourary president Smt. YS Vijayamma has not
ruled out the party’s merger with the Congress reminds one of the famous
English author G.K.Chesterton who once said, “Journalism largely consists in
saying ‘Lord Jones is dead’ to people who never knew Lord Jones was

The PTI reporter who made
the story after meeting Vijayamma seems to have been inspired by   Chesterton’s words. He tried to implant a
falsified thought in the minds of the people about something which they have
not thought of till date.

As the party has said in its
press release circulated to the media condemning the misinterpreted news story,
the people in the state knew very well there is no need for YSR Congress Party
to merge with any other party at any point of time.

In fact, people never
entertained such a thought about the party and this is proved beyond any doubt
in the recent by-election results.

However, political vultures
and their stooges, who are now turning into political dummies in the wake of
ever increasing popularity of YS Jagan Mohan Reddy despite his being jailed,
are waiting in the wings to spread half baked truths about the party with a
view to maligning it and downsizing its growing popularity. Notwithstanding the
motives of the PTI in interpreting or misinterpreting of its staffer’s
discussion with Vijayamma, its reporter is clearly at fault as his inspired
journalism is aimed at strengthening the wings of such political dummies.

The PTI story said: “Asked
specifically whether she would rule out the possibility of either YSRC’s merger
or alliance with Congress, she merely said the future would decide that.”

If this is the tail end of
the news story as it actually deserves, there could have been no controversy
about the report but the national agency’s staffer had other ideas in mind. He
chose to interpret Vijayamma’s cryptic reply ‘the future will decide that’ as
‘YSR Congress did not rule out the possibility of its eventual merger or alliance
with the parent party’ with a particular motive to implant the idea into the
public mind.

In a situation like this,
the ethical part of reporting is involved and not the right of a journalist. A
reporter is not in his right to implant an idea which is not there in the
public mind. This is particularly so when the image of a political party is involved.

By adding an unwarranted
interpretation to a remark and spicing it up with the statements of some
leaders to substantiate the interpretation and to cap it all, making it a lead
point of the news story is highly unwarranted and mala fide on the face of it.

At a time when the YSR
Congress is poised to acquire the image of a mass based party by penetrating
into the minds and hearts of the tens of millions of the people, such news
stories could simply be part of unsuccessful attempts to hijack the public

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