Hard Knocks: Heavy price for a goof-up

23 Nov,2011

By Anil Thakraney


In a nation that boasts of hundreds of news channels (with more dying to get into the fray), speed of content is crucial. It’s a cut throat situation out there, and there is tremendous pressure in the news rooms to be first with the story. In this high tension scenario, mistakes can and do happen. And even if heads of news channels build in fool-proof checks and balances in the process, one can never totally eliminate the chance of a slip up.


Because making mistakes is human, we have all been guilty of it at some point or another. That’s why the defamation suit of Rs 100 crores slapped against Times Now by an aggrieved judge is not just a bit excessive, it’s rather frightening for all of us in the media. The case pertains to the channel erroneously carrying a picture of the judge while reporting on a scam story.


Now, I have no doubt at all that the judge in question has every reason to be upset. We would all be in similar circumstances, when someone wrongly tarnishes our integrity. But with due respect to the esteemed judge, if the channel has publicly apologised, that should be the end of the matter.


While the good thing that could come out of this incident is that the media will hopefully be more careful in the future, there is no denying that the rather harsh punitive action against Times Now has alarmed all of us in the media. Many of us would now think a hundred times before running edgy stories, even after filtering them through a battery of lawyers. Who wants to carry the burden of such a stringent defamation action? And when, after having said sorry, the case goes on.


On my own part, I have reached a state where I am seriously contemplating seeking a PR job. Forget imagining what an amount of Rs 100 crore looks like, the very mention of the figure gives me nightmares.

Meri to phat gayee, yaar!




PS: So, the Bigg Boss cuckoo house has a new inmate, a porn star. Makes no sense to me. The only great thing a porn star can do is to expose, that’s her ticket to fame. And when she can’t be allowed to expose on a family channel, what’s the point in spending so much money on her? They should invite me into the house, and I am available for a fraction of her fee. I shall create trouble in seconds, that’s my ticket to fame! 🙂

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