Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Almost as shocking

IBN Live seems to have a touched a new low (or high?) in its standard of journalism. Consider the article titled "Boy held for slandering Sonia on Orkut" written by a Shilpa Dhamija, published on 21 May 2008, at 00:21.


> Boy held for slandering Sonia on Orkut
> Twenty-two-year old Rahul...Vaid....

Interesting that a 22-year-old male is referred to as a "boy". Wonder till what age one would be called a boy by the journalist, given that the "boy" in question is empowered by the state to vote, get married, buy alchohol, and be treated as an adult as far as the Indian Penal Code is concerned.

> But obscene and vulgar data is
> punishable under IT act,

Ah, but that does not sound like slander, as mentioned in the headline.

> Vaid had posted the content an
> Orkut community titled 'I hate
> Sonia Gandhi'.

Missing preposition between "content" and "an".

> ...if found guilty, he will have
> to face up to five years of
> imprisonment and...

Redundant use of the phrase "have to"; "...he will face up..." is adequate.

> The police are now looking for
> everyone who has posted anything
> obscene about the Congress leader.

This sort of a blanket statement is a little worrying, for those who are worried by witch-hunts.

> Interestingly, the creator of the
> community has not been charged as
> hating prominent personalities or
> having an opinion is not illegal
> in India.

Either this is sophisticated irony (but one thinks not, looking at the quality of English used in the article), or shocking (in a professional journalist, but that begs the question!) naiveté.

> So till India has strict privacy laws
> like the US, the only safeguard is to
> either join communities after due
> diligence or stay away.

Or make an effort to improve the situation: marshal public opinion towards creating such laws and safeguards, or is this not the whole point of having journalists?

"Stay away" advises the journalist. Cower in your homes in fear, never mind what you believe to be true and right, choose inaction. Sad.

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