Eating is an agricultural act - Wendell Berry

Friday, July 25, 2008

TOI's media ethics

most of us like to hate TOI.
their celebrity-centric reporting, trivial-centric writing, business-centric philosophy, etc.

their expansion across to mutiple cities over the last months has been very successful. they are bashing up local leaders like the hindu in chennai, etc.

and it is correspondingly clear, that they are setting the benchmarks in media business today. what TOI is today, is what all our media/publishing houses aspire to be.

now here is one part of their their media strategy - which easily qualifies for the top unethical practice of the year award.
At around 2.30 pm on 10th May, 2008, at a construction site on Bannerghatta Road in Bengaluru, a lift being used by workers malfunctioned and dropped 18 floors, causing the death of 2 workers and leaving 7 workers severely injured. Sobha Magnolia is a 19-storey super luxury apartment complex being constructed by Sobha Developers. Due to the immense force of dropping from such a height, the lift repeatedly bounced up and down several times before stopping. Of the 7 injured, three have been discharged while the remaining 4 are still undergoing treatment. Each of the injured have suffered multiple fractures and other injuries.

On 12th May 2008, the Times of India reported that:

"Lift crash leaves 2 dead, 7 hurt

Two occupants in a lift died and seven others were injured on Saturday after the lift crashed to the lower basement at the construction site of a residential apartment on Bannerghatta Road."

Then, again on 8th June the Times of India reported that:


SHRC chief takes officials to task

The State Human Rights Commission has asked a private construction company to ensure complete and fair compensation to families of two workers who dies and seven who were injured in a lift crash in an apartment building under construction on Bannerghatta Road. The accident took place on May 10.…

The accident occurred on May 10 at the construction site of a multi-storeyed super-luxury apartment on Bannerghatta Road."

Note that the Times of India does not name the company, Sobha Developers in reports unlike all the other English and Kannada newspapers, which explicitly did so.

Why would they not name the guys... could be a big-ticket advertiser? well read on...
Apparently, Bennett Coleman & Co. Ltd., the publishers of Times of India, has entered into a Private Treaty with Sobha Developers, whereby through this arrangement BCCL picks up law equity stakes in companies, in return receiving long-term advertising and other publicity deals.
whole story is available here on the hoot.


csm said...

v - i would think that TOI is still some distance from propaganda.
and i am praying that the vague institution called democracy will be able to prevent such a calamity. will wait and see.

sameersampat said...

incredible. good find csm.