INTERVENOR IN SUDARSHAN CASE TELLS SC THAT CRIME REPUBLIC TV'S ARNAB GOSWAMI AND TIMES NOW'S NAVIKA KUMAR ENGAGE IN CONDUCTING "MEDIA TRIALS"
WHAT IS THE BACKGROUND?
- In the Sudarshan case, an intervention application was filed seeking to delineate the aspect of media trials as a facet of hate speech performed by TV anchors through electronic media in news debates. Filed on behalf of Dr. Kota Neelima and Sangeeta Tyagi by Advocate-on-Record Sunil Fernandes in a plea requesting a pre-broadcast injunction of the programme named 'Bindas Bol' on the Sudarshan News channel, the IA produces a graph.
- Filed on behalf of Dr. Kota Neelima and Sangeeta Tyagi by Advocate-on-Record Sunil Fernandes in a petition requesting a pre-broadcast injunction of the programme entitled" Bindas Bol "on Sudarshan News channel, the IA produces a graphical study of four TV anchors allegedly holding TV debates in a way that could be placed under the umbrella ofHate Speech.
CONTENTIONS REGARDING MR. ARNAB GOSWAMI AND MS. NAVIKA KUMAR IN THE IA:
- The IA mentions that Dr. Neelima has analysed the quality of TV news debates undertaken by "two esteemed journalists, i.e. Arnab Goswami and Ms. Navika Kumar, who has been participating in 'Media Trials,' through an unbiased research platform. "The analysis of the work of both journalists, reveals that "65% of the overall discussions undertaken by Mr. Arnab Goswami from 31.07.2020 to 15.09.2020, and 69% of the total debates conducted by Ms. Navika Kumar from 16.06.2020 to 06.10.2020 were on a singular topic i.e. Sushant Singh Rajput Death Case".
- Further notes that "the way, tone, tenor and substance of the Media Coverage and 'TV Debate' was particularly poisonous, polarised and lead by innuendos, salacious gossips, wild accusations, and character assassinations," aside from the "overwhelming and disproportionate amount of time" being dedicated to a single topic. The IA proceeds to list the modus operandi used by TV actors to sensationalize a piece of news that inevitably leads to a media trial because it generates a misleading perception to covertly influence public opinion.
THE TOPIC OF HATE SPEECH AND PROMOTION OF PROPAGANDA IN THE IA:
- The other side of Hate Speech that the court alluded to in the media tribunal. "For several reasons, media trials can take place, for example, it can be to take a higher share of television rating points (TRPs) or it can be something more serious than some private television channels serve as puppet propaganda machines for the central government," the IA contends.
- The IA sheds light on the headlines of the news debates, arguing that the same is a cause for alarm as it is conducted with a "predetermined agenda" under the garb of press freedom while including the right to a fair trial. Given the above, the IA urges the Court to encourage the applicants to record the comprehensive analysis of Media Trials.