From: Anand Bala balasubramanyan [at] Gmail.com
Date: Sat, Apr 17, 2010 at 9:43 PM
Subject: An Open Letter to the Editor's Guild - Coverage of a Natural Disaster
To: rajdeep.sardesai [at] editorsguild.in, rajdeep.sardesai [at] network18online.com
I write to you in your capacity as an office bearer of the Editor’s Guild.
Has there been a collective decision by the mainstream media to ignore the devastation that killed 120 people in West Bengal? Over 100,000 people are left homeless and the coverage is conspicuous by it’s absence. Even the BBC devoted more space and time to it than our national dailies and news channels.
Do the lives of the victims of the storm not merit a report from the ground, or a question to a spokesperson of a national party or even an update on the number of homeless, missing and dead?
I am not asking you to stop covering the skeletons of the IPL and entertainment. I am asking why a natural disaster of such magnitude cannot get a fraction of the same bandwidth.
Citizens have been let down completely by the media. We don’t even know the status of rescue operations and what relief is required and how much has reached citizens. As a reader and a viewer I am pained but not surprised. This must be a new low.
I don’t know if the Editor’s Guild has the will to do something about it. I hope they do. Your readers and viewers deserve better.
तूने बोया पेड़ बबूल का, फिर आम कहाँ से खाए?
- Sant Kabir
UPDATE 1: A rather candid and short response received from Rajdeep
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Rajdeep Sardesai
Date: Sat, Apr 17, 2010 at 11:38 PM
Subject: RE: An Open Letter to the Editor's Guild - Coverage of a Natural D isaster
To: Anand Bala
Cc: editor - The Hoot
U raise an issue of impt and national interest. I agree we have failed. Will definitely try and stir some consciousness on it within the editor community. Tks
UPDATE 2: This letter and it's response is all available on the TheHoot.org website here. Please post any comments that you may have over there.