Attending a function organised to honour veteran journalists, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee launched a tirade against a section of the media, challenging its proprietors “to come and confront me in the open,” instead of trying to “control the government from outside.”
“Some people think they can control the government from outside. If you want to run the government, contest the elections. Come and confront me in the open… I don’t believe in journalism of this kind,” Ms. Banerjee said, at a function organised by the official organ of the Trinamool Congress, Jago Bangla.
Levelling accusations of “blowing matters out of proportion,” “bullying,” “allowing business interests to dictate what makes news,” and “acting on the promptings of the Communist Party of India (Marxist),” against these media houses, Ms. Banerjee said: “You are poisoning people’s lives.”
It turned out to be a lesson in journalism for the audience, as Ms. Banerjee went on to explain the difference between “acceptable and unacceptable news” admonishing some television channels for harping on “one small incident” on the day of Mahalaya (the day that starts the countdown to the Durga Puja festival) when they should have been reporting on the festival and celebrations.
Ms. Banerjee was also critical of a section of the media for “glorifying” rape. She didn’t specify the television channel, but may have been referring to the extensive coverage of the gang-rape of a first-year college student in Bardhaman district for the past few days, when she remarked that the State was being portrayed as one where the crime is recurrent.