Circulation of ‘unverified’ news reports put credibility of acknowledged media houses at stake

Analysts stress upon ‘attribution’, ‘confirmation’

Irfan A Mir

Srinagar, June 05, (KNS): The circulation of ‘unverified’ news reports in print and electronic media has led the credibility of acknowledged media houses at stake. Analysts believe that it has become a tradition in J&K to spread the news without knowing wherever it comes from, since people became fond of social media and stressed upon the need of upholding ethics of journalism.

Reports reached to Kashmir News Service (KNS) said that the circulation of ‘unverified’ news stories and reports in media has denigrated the accredited image of several media houses and working journalists across Jammu and Kashmir UT. It said circulation of unauthentic news reports also downgraded the morale of well reputed and professional journalists who often break news with credible and reliable sources.

Reports said that a week ago, a news report started rounds on social networking sites regarding the oath ceremony of Advisory Council in J&K which led several quarters including political and security into chaos. It added the news initially broke out by National media institutions who often used credible sources while putting any news in public domain but this time people across left speechless as the news later on was rebutted by concern quarters.

Imtiyaz Khan, a senior journalist working with a leading Urdu daily newspaper termed particular section of officials responsible for circulating "fake" news reports. He said it is unfortunate that some 'so-called' journalists, being patronized by a 'particular section' of government officials, are trying to lower the stature of reputed and professional journalists.

He added these so-called journalists are carrying whatever they will get, for the sake of goodwill.

Bilal Furqani, another journalist termed “attribution” and “confirmation” as fundamental principles of journalism. He said if a journalist does lack these two, his report will be termed as ‘unsubstantiated’. He said since social media sites like WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter etc introduced in J&K and people became fond of it, it has become a routine to spread the word without verifying its authenticity.

“If we have to safeguard the ethics of journalism, we should confirm the report first and ensure no compromise while carrying out professional duties”, Furqani added.

"Unverified' reports comes to fore only after denial of officials who don't want to talk with journalists", said Irfan Amin Malik, who works with English daily.

He said after August 2019, when New Delhi took away the special status of J&K, officials seemed unwilling to talk with journalists while confirming any news report. "Officials initially deny giving quotes and later on refutes after publishing the news which paves way for some to raise fingers against the said journalist", Irfan said.

Pertinently last week a news report had made rounds on social media about formation of Advisory Council in J&K which was supposedly to be headed by Jammu Kashmir Apni Party chief Syed Altaf Bukhari. The news report however was declined by the party.

JKAP sources however had clarified that there is no such development on cards.

“Reality is that we have no information about this, this is just a rumor. How GOI wants to run affairs here, we cannot say anything about that. No one has given us any offer and whenever such offer is made, party will take a decision”, Ghulam Hassan Mir senior leader of JKAP had told KNS.

Meanwhile former chief minister of J&K Omar Abdullah also ridiculed news reports about formation of Advisory Council.

“What happened to the grand oath taking that we were promised would happen in Jammu today? “Sources” plant, journalists happily reproduce as though the gospel truth & when it doesn’t happen all of them hope we’ve forgotten what was tweeted /reported. #FakeNews,” Omar had tweeted. (KNS)

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