It gives a rare dimension or clue to crime, says DGP

Contrary to journalists' expectations, Director General of Police K. Aravidna Rao on Saturday said sensationalism sometimes helps the police get a rare dimension or clue to aspect of crime that slips their mind.

At a seminar organised by the Press Academy of Andhra Pradesh on ‘Crime Reporting' here, Mr. Aravinda Rao surprised mediapersons when he said first thing he does every morning was to pick up the six Telugu dailies among which some are known for publishing sensational nature of news reports. “I may not do it (reading them) after my retirement, but it is my professional necessity now,” he said.

The DGP said as long as the journalists wrote with good intention to help police and remained within their limits any kind of language or sensation was fine. Sitting through the two-hour seminar, at which some senior journalists like C. Raghavachari and Kommineni Srinivasa Rao and NALSAR law professor Madabhushi Sridhar were very critical of the way journalists did not adhere to the norms for crime reporting, he expressed satisfaction at this level of introspection among the members of the fraternity.

“Your reporting on several wrongs, including those involving the police, helps us correct them,” he said and appreciated the different angles being projected in the media in Sirisha case,” he said.

The NALSAR professor said objectivity was lost in the media and bias had set in, which according to him had to be corrected with regard to crime reporting. Anything done in good faith was acceptable by society and small mistakes would be pardoned, but crime reporting had gone to other extreme where specialised crime programmes on TVs seem teaching lessons of crime, he said.

He gave an example of a live murder in Bihar, which was not stopped by the media, but recorded and took objection to photograph of the accused shown by a media house to Sirisha, which would impact the identification parade in the court.

Press Academy Chairman Tirumalagiri Surender presided.

The Hindu lensmen Ch. Vijay Bhaskar and V. Raju were felicitated by the DGP for their recent achievements.

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