The negative impact of media coverage

Hemangini Gupta, a co-ordinator for the Blank Noise Project, which I’ve mentioned here before, has written an interesting article on The Hoot about the media coverage that the project has received.

The second fallout of the wide media coverage has been the exact opposite of the positive journalist – it’s the reporter who has read the good reviews and now fiercely feels the need to adopt a contrary view. Whatever the cost.

Recently a journalist came to the Delhi night walk and reported that the BNP organised a “protest against ‘touching, staring, groping, pinching and stalking'”, but volunteers “in their spaghetti tops and accented English” were apparently “‘leched’ at, ridiculed and booed”, and “those who hadn’t turned up in a ‘mod and hep’ attire seemed clearly overdressed”. (http://in.news.yahoo.com/060918/43/67ojo.html).

Annie Zaidi of Frontline magazine was at the same walk, and she points out that BNP never claimed to be “protesting” street harassment, was never booed or ridiculed along the walk, asserts that not everyone was in spaghetti tops, no one spoke accented English and asks finally, “The reporter has placed ‘mod and hep’ in inverted commas. Any particular reason? Was this supposed to be a reference to western clothes? Also, those who were not in western clothes were in regulation cotton shalwars… Overdressed? Who?”

It’s an interesting take on the media and publicity that being covered in the media generates. Read the article, it’s an eye-opener. Here’s the link ( The perils of becoming a good story ) again.

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