Responsibility. A big word for anyone to shoulder, and it should be taken a lot more seriously by those in the media. Especially, since theyhave a massive influence on the lives of a vast majority of the public. Yet, the media continues to surprise us with its lack of good judgement when it comes to certain aspects of public safety.
An article published in Hindustan Times, on April 24 pointed out serious lapses in the level of security at major public transport hubs such asthe T3, railway stations and other public places. The premise of building public awareness is in itself a good thing. Butmaking public the knowledge of glaring gaps in public security, virtually facilitating anti-social and terrorist groups, might not be the most prudent, responsible or well-thought out strategy.
It brings back memories of the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai, whenirresponsible reporting on TV channels helped locate victims for the terrorists to slaughter, and also made them aware of the covert operations being undertaken by the police to combat them.
Instead of writing an article which read more like a manual on“How to easily get away with planting bombs in Delhi”, HT might have better served citizens by taking their findings to the authorities, and informing them directly ofthe security lapses which had been discovered by the media. The readers could have been informed about the security lapses once they had been corrected by the authorities. And if they hadn’t been corrected after some time, then that would’ve been a story in itself. That way, HT could have played the role of enlightening the public while averting any kind of disaster as result of the investigation.
But then, it seems obvious that the kind of maturity that needs to be displayed by the media has taken a back seat to the need to increase readership by publishing shocking reports.