Disturbing reports on terror-related incidents making people insecure, says Civil Liberties leader

Civil Liberties leader G. Haragopal stressed the need for extreme caution on the part of media while reporting terrorist-related incidents to ensure that the balance of society is not lost.

Though a majority of the people were unaware of what terrorism exactly meant, disturbing reports on the incidents were making them feel insecure.

It was high time that there was a public debate on the causes, origin, dimensions and other aspects related to incidents of terror, he said.

Prof. Haragopal was speaking at a symposium on “Reporting terror: how sensitive is the media” organised by The Hindu here on Sunday.

‘Give balanced information’

He wanted the media to give balanced information while reporting as it would have an impact on the whole psyche. He described as ‘disaster’ the attempts to associate a community with the terrorist related incidents.

“Muslims too were killed in the recent bomb blasts in Dilsuknagar as terror doesn’t make a distinction between religions,” he said.

Spreading panic

Cyberabad Police Commissioner Dwaraka Tirumala Rao said the exaggerated figures of deaths, injured and other gory details in media reports on terror incidents would spread panic and an unwarranted degree of insecurity.

Instead, if the media could give a message that local people/administration had come immediately to the rescue of injured, the confidence among the people was sure to get enhanced.

Reports glorifying criminal acts and repeated telecast of gory scenes would create trauma among the people.

Both terrorists and the media were seen sharing a mutually reinforcing relationship and were often perceived to be feeding off each other.

Terrorists being ‘media savvy’ had over time learnt to use it as a tool in propaganda of deed and propaganda of fear.

Media, on its part, generates advertising revenues and TRP providing gory details of terrorist strikes bordering on sensationalism, he said.

More In: Hyderabad