Indian Express: A Tale Of Two Attacks, And Media Self Censorship

Each media outlet is supposed to have a prescribed style. That is whether or not to identify the communities of attackers and attacked, what to call persons attacking others (extremists/terrorists, etc.)

So, if the style changes according to who are the likely attackers and who is the person attacked, it can only be taken as the case of self-censorship by the media when it comes to reporting acts of community/group it fears.

In case of its report on attack on Avijit Roy, Indian Express all through used “extremists,” for the attackers.

But in case of reporting the beating of a writer in Tamil Nadu, it has written, “In Murugesan’s case, as in Murugan’s, it is the Gounder community that has “taken offence”. Unlike Murugan, Murugesan himself is not Gounder.”

So now it is not the extremists, but a whole community.

With this subtle word play, unlikely to be noticed by the low information readers, our media manipulates public opinion, and distorts the narrative; and most dangerously, lulls the readers into a fog of ignorance.