As India is continuously under the predatory second wave of Coronavirus outbreak, the foreign media outlets have gone into overextending devouring on the dead and projecting the monstrous pictures of the situations. From hounding over the funeral pyres to spreading fake news, foreign media seemed to have cluttered the traces of journalistic ethics in their coverage of the Covid-19 outbreak in India.
Recently, the New York Post used a misleading image in an article published on its website about the Covid-19 crisis in India. The article headed “Covid-19 surge swallowing people in India, the footage shows people dead in streets” used a featured image in which a woman is lying unconscious on the road, with another woman and probably her daughter is trying to make her conscious and wake her up.
However, in reality, the image is not from current Covid-19 situations ongoing in India. The image is from a video clip shot during the gas leak incident in Vishakhapatnam which took place in May last year. This incident referred to as the ‘Vizag Gas Leak’, happened on May 7th, 2020 at the LG Polymers chemical plant in the R.R. Venkatapuram village. The resulting toxic vapor cloud spread over the radius of 3 Kilometres, causing breathing problems to nearby villagers.
The featured image was from ‘Vizag Gas Tragedy’ of last year and not from ongoing Covid-19 situations in India as the headlines claimed. When readers criticized the media outlet that the featured images in the articles are fake and old, the NY Post quickly changed the image. However, the title remained the same. Political analyst and observer Anshul Saxena slammed the article and tweeted “Dear Western Media, Yes, the situation in India is bad due to the second wave of Covid but India is fighting back.”
Dear Western Media,
Yes, situation in India is bad due to 2nd wave of Covid but India is fighting back.
Please don't spread fake news or old photos to create more panic in our nation.
New York Post published old photo from Visakhapatnam gas leak incident & linked it with Covid pic.twitter.com/MqGEgb4YMf
— Anshul Saxena (@AskAnshul) April 27, 2021
There are no images in the whole article to substantiate the claims like people were dying on the streets in India and were left unattended. Perhaps the writers are so incompetent that when their fake news was caught red-handed, it did not occur to them that they also need to change the headline along with the images of the article.
India is undoubtedly going through grim situations amid outraging situations of Covid cases. But the crisis is not as grave as the foreign media are exaggerating it to be. For a long time now global media organizations have a habit to target India’s renowned achievements and overstating the problems besetting them.
The Covid-19 pandemic has disclosed the western media’s detrimental obsession of linking India’s Covid-19 outbreak with funeral pyres. Numerous media organizations, whether it is Washington Post or Reuters, posted images of funeral pyres from various parts of India to stressing the effects of a pandemic. One of the Washington Post journalists even described a cremation centre’s vertical shot as “stunning”.
This indignity of connecting Covid outbreak with funeral pyres is reserved only for Indians and it spat on the west’s envy of India which was successful in avoiding the initial Covid-19 outbreak when the developed countries of the world were finding it immensely difficult to control it.
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