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Barkha Dutt: Irresponsible journalism
You do not need to be a journalist to understand the basic premise of ethics, which starts with protecting victims first; and that is done by avoiding key information from being aired ? such as the number of people still trapped inside.

YOU CAN say its shoddy and blasphemous. Over the years, Indian electronic media has been in the limelight for the wrong reasons - for their irresponsible and shoddy journalism. As I was glued to the television watching Mumbai’s heritage buildings, VT Railway Station and Taj Mahal Hotel, being targeted by cross-border terrorists, I was appalled to watch Barkha Dutt of NDTV break every rule of journalistic ethics.


 
For instance, she asks a husband about his wife being caught or held as a hostage in the Taj. The husband later discloses where he had seen his wife hiding. This is dangerous. Isn’t Dutt giving a tip to AK-47-wielding terrorists to haunt to finish her off?

 
In another instance, a general cleverly puts it across responding to Dutt’s query that there were no hostages in Oberoi Trident. However, the ’ace’ journalist calls up the Oberoi chief and confirms there are around 100 people in the hotel, thus providing another fodder for the terrorists to grind. Dutt played the official intelligence source for terrorists from ground zero.

 
You do not need to be a journalist to understand the basic premise of ethics, which starts with protecting victims first; and that is done by avoiding key information from being aired publicly—such as the number of people still trapped inside, the hideouts of hostages and people holed up in the buildings.

 
Imagine your CEO is holed up in one of those buildings. A journalist throws a slew of queries to your kin outside and asks about your last contact on national television and other minute details.

 
In a bout of emotion, if they happen to reveal more details, you are sure going to hell. Remember these are hotels, where in all likelihood, every room has a television. All that a terrorist needs to do is listen to Dutt’s latest achievement of extracting information from your relative, based on your last phone-call or SMS. And your life is shaved, courtesy NDTV.

 
In fact, I firmly believe that Hemant Karkare died because these channels showed him prepare (wear helmet, wear bullet-proof vest) in excruciating detail, live on television. And they, in turn, targeted him where he was unprotected. The brave officer succumbed to bullets in the neck. If terrorists don’t succeed in pushing you into the hell, journalists like Dutt would certainly help you get there.

 
One of the criticisms about Dutt on Wikipedia reads thus: “During Kargil conflict, Indian Army sources repeatedly complained to her channel that she was giving away locations in her broadcasts, thus causing Indian casualties.”

 
Looks like the irresponsible journalist has not learnt anything since then.
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