Monday, October 10, 2005

Malicious Reporting By Associated Press

Via MSNBC, here is an AP report: Kashmiri rebels reach victims first

Shaukat Khan hiked across a valley to collect food and supplies he thought were being handed out by authorities.

Instead, he found what thousands others discovered after the massive earthquake that shattered their villages: a lot of help was coming from Kashmiri separatists on the Indian side of the disputed territory.


Think about it. AP claims that separatists and terrorists are ahead of Government of India in helping the victims of the Kashmir earthquake.

Given the vastness of the destruction, and the limited assets of these so-called "rebels", it is simply inconceivable that this story is the whole truth. Its possible that these guys helped out some folks before the Indian army got there -- great, we need as much help as is possible; but is it AP's case that these guys have reached more people with more stuff than the army which has enormous logistical resources?

The only way this is possible is if the army didn't care about Kashmiri victims. This is a very grave accusation and AP needs to be very careful about whether this is the road it wishes to take.

We have argued repeatedly that India needs to pick up its pace of help, but even we are left astounded by this AP story which reveals a malicious anti-India agenda. AP should be ashamed.

11 comments:

Kumar said...

PR:

I think your take on the AP's reportage is correct. Notice that the AP report itself underlines the lack of logistical strength of the separatists' relief efforts by quoting a person who had to walk across a valley to receive the separatists' aid. It thereby undermines the implicit suggestion of the report that these separatists have organized a successful relief operation.

In reality, while the relief they delivered was no doubt welcomed, it amounts to a PR stunt organized by the APHC. Clearly the AP (perhaps willingly), as well as some fellow based in a Geneva think-tank, fell for it.

There is no doubt that many people are without aid and I pray that aid-delivery speeds up now that some of the roads have been cleared. But the suggestion that the separatists have organized the only visible relief effort and that the army is merely standing-by is plainly false. The BBC's Altaf Hussein, for example, reports that survivors in Tangdar were full of praise for the performance of the Indian army in ferrying out the injured, albeit angry at the civil administration for failing to deliver aid. Again, Tangdar needs aid but the army has been doing its best there--plainly, the AP's reportage is seriously misleading. Btw, the Hussein's report is available at the reporter's log on the BBC at the following URL
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/4325640.stm

This AP report is mistaken on many other aspects of Kashmir. For example, they report that we Kashmiris share a common language. Again, this is plainly false: Kashmiri is the primary native tongue in the Valley and that is simply not the case in PoK.

Kumar

Kumar said...

PR: I've appended the relevant portions of Altaf Hussein's from the BBC's reporter's log at the URL listed above. Given reports such as these I am astounded, really, at the AP's mendacious reportage.

Altaf Hussain : Tangdar, Indian Kashmir : 1100GMT

In Tangdar...Many of them have not any relief yet...

People here are very angry with the civil administration - relief is too little and too late...

The are full of praise for the army though for the role the soldiers have played in evacuating injured villagers.

In one place, the air force had managed to evacuate 120 injured people over the past two days. I saw a truck bringing some injured to a local hospital - the vehicle belonged to India's paramilitary Border Security Force.

Kumar

indianpatriot said...

I pointed out yesterday how AP is biased. I believe they are following only dictates of US state department whose policy since independence is kashmir is disputed territory. Except perhaps the rigged election of 1987 Jammu and Kashmir had free elections and a better democracy than what US is aiming in Iraq now. Perhaps it is a pawn in big power politics where US wants a base to keep watching 2 rising powers in Asia. China ( I am not an appologist to this communist country)to north and India to south. Also inspite of claim of free and independent media AP takes clues from state department with its jaundiced eyes. Have we seen or heard anything about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. Probably people start flooding AP with protest notes(I wonder whether it will have any effect).

Jaffna said...

The bias, racism and inaccuracy of reportage in the western media is not limited to the Associated Press. I would include Agence France Press and the BBC. This said, India needs to effectively counter such misperceptions. It has not done so.

This said, India needs to liberalize its own licensing laws pertaining to the media to allow international-based agencies to print and broadcast from within India. Being in country will help negate the hostile coverage. This is in India's interest. An independent press regulator would ensure factual accuracy. The competition would also keep the national media, which is often partisan for other reasons, on its toes.

Laks said...

Matthew Rosenberg does it again. Yesterday he released a similar article. What is funny is that you can see many of Indian Army's relief photos from Yahoo news http://news.search.yahoo.com/news/search?p=earthquake+indian+army&c=news_photos

and many of them are from AP newswires. This chap does not seem to reading their own newswires.

Primary Red said...

Thanks, Kumar for the link. Indianpatriot, it is your initial comment that inspired this post!

Best regards.

suwa said...

Besides Rosenberg, AP also has a local kashmiri journalist, who is a huge yasin fan and suporter.
He [the local scribe ] had done a disgutingly biased report of the nadimarg massacre in 03, in which he wrote, "24 Upper caste hindus were killed by suspected......."

BangaloreGuy said...

The media which report unfairly on India vis-a-vis Kashmir generally reads like who's-who of the "world" media.

This hasnt been new. I have long observed their tilt and they way the publish such news, its practically littered across their postings and publications.

libertarian said...

Folks, let's call them out in numbers when they do this. The BBC has already ackowledged that the print medium has changed to the advantage of the freelancer (aka blogger). They will increasingly carry other points of view - let our's be heard.

BangaloreGuy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
BangaloreGuy said...

good idea, lib'n.
Although I suspect they will still stamp such views as AP has done as the "official" or correct versions.

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