The demand of Rs. 100 crore, allegedly made by Zee TV editors, from Jindal Steel and Power Limited executives to stop airing damaging stories on coal block allocations involving the company (Oct. 26) cannot be dismissed as a professional lapse. It is a serious offence that has not only brought disrepute to Zee News and Zee Business. It also attracts criminal charges against the editors of the channel, caught in the reverse sting operation. Zee’s counterclaim that JSPL offered bribe to the channels to refrain from airing stories against it on Coalgate is hard to believe. Journalists will surely admit that reverse sting operations are as credible as sting operations conducted by them. What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.
G. David Milton,
If JSPL’s allegations against Zee are proved, the channel should be banned with immediate effect. Such incidents lead to an erosion of the common man’s trust in the media.
Amid the allegations and counter-allegations between Zee and JSPL, we have forgotten that there have always been whispers of corruption in the visual and print media. P. Sainath of The Hindu has highlighted several cases of ‘paid news’ and courts have taken cognisance of its existence. What the reverse sting has exposed is that bribes can be demanded to not only publish favourable news but also hide adverse news.
This only goes to prove that people living in glass houses should not throw stones at others. The media image has taken a bashing of late with Justice Markandey Katju often reminding those running media houses of their responsibilities.