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    Indo-Pak Conflict: Media Endorsing Jingoism Did More Harm Than Good, Editor Says

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    As the escalation of conflict between India and Pakistan stirred public sentiment on either side, the hostility was reflected on television channels of the two neighbours. Television anchors on both sides came under fire for warmongering and blatant endorsement of and hyper-nationalism.

    New Delhi (Sputnik) — Pravin Sawhney, editor of Force India, a leading defence magazine, opines that on matters of national security importance, its reportage, especially television reportage, has to be more circumspect and that a certain section of the Indian and Pakistani media failed to act responsibly while reporting the string of events following the 14 February terror strike on Indian paramilitary convoy by a Pakistan-based terror group and the subsequent developments including the airstrike on Balakot, Pakistan by the Indian Air Force (IAF). 

    READ MORE: Pakistan to Drag India to UN for Unleashing "Eco-Terrorism" in Balakot — Reports

    Sputnik: How do you see the treatment of news by the Indian and Pakistani media in the wake of the recent turmoil? Does it bother you that several people have called the coverage as jingoistic?

    Pravin Sawhney: I do not deny the fact. In both India and Pakistan, a section of media is immature and jingoistic. Unfortunately, this is the section that is the loudest. Hence, one hears more from them than from the media which is sober and balanced. 

    Sputnik: Is the issue of reporting and the way it is being perceived is beyond what meets the eye?

    Pravin Sawhney: Yes, to say that it was a jingoistic treatment could be one important aspect of it. There is, however, another issue here. The popular sentiment in India today is of anger and betrayal after the suicide attack on the CRPF convoy on February 14 by the terrorist and the reaction of the nation to it has been that "enough is enough." I think the popular Indian media is reflective of that sentiment.

    READ MORE: MiG21 Downing Pakistan's F-16 Could Soil Lockheed's $21Bln India Dream — Scholar

    Sputnik: Do you see a more constructive role of media in the times to come in the Indo-Pak affair? 

    Pravin Sawhney: Media has to play a constructive role because it has the power to shape public opinion. So while it can be sensitive to the popular sentiment, it should not allow that to shape its own editorial approach towards reporting and broadcasting. More importantly, on matters of national security importance, its reportage, especially television reportage, has to be more circumspect. Unfortunately, in a haste to report first, the television media has been falling prey to rumours, unverified statements and official propaganda. This does more harm than good.

    The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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