On Monday, India Today did an "exclusive" coverage on the Ryan International School murder of a 7-year-old boy. The reporter, Anjana Om Kashyap - the executive editor of India Today - fleeted around the school, pointing at the various points at which the student may have walked through till his brutal murder.
Kashyap goes on to describe and asks the users to imagine the boy's happy state of mind as he walked the corridors after his parents dropped him off at school. There was no lack in Kashyap's reinforcing words that the footage is, in fact, the channel's EXCLUSIVE, despite a watermark running through the middle of the screen.
We wonder how the family of the 7-year-old felt seeing the coverage. Sensitivity had clearly left the building the moment Kashyap walked into the school's premises. Soon after, she walks towards the washroom where the boy's body was found. The camera's sole focus was the recently washed floor where blood smears could still be seen.
From 0.36 to 1.24 minutes in the footage, all we see and hear is how a child was brutally murdered and thus infer how the scarring episode will leave a mark on the other students still studying at the institute.
Kashyap then moves on to a nearby classroom, pointing at the class (presumably where the child studied) and then goes on to talk about how the murderer laid a trap for the boy.
Needless to say, this coverage is problematic for a number of reasons. First, for the choice of words of the reporter and second, the casual sensationalisation of a sensitive issue. There's a complete disregard to its impact on other students of the school who might be scared or scarred by such haunting footage.
The coverage also didn't add anything to the crime case and ended up as a work of voyeurism, even "death porn" as a Twitter used termed it.
Many on social media voiced their displeasure on the channel's coverage
STOP WITH YOUR FUCKING DEATH PORN, YOU ASSHOLES. A kid has died. We don't want to know yahi woh toilet hai yeh hain khoon ke nishan! Morons! https://t.co/7mqiF1H6Gs— Vaibhav Vishal (@ofnosurnamefame) September 11, 2017
What is she doing, making fun of herself ?I mean tell some useful info about the case development !Seriously.— 430 Kids Dead Gorkpr (@AAP_ka_AKASH) September 11, 2017
Sab se pehle aajtak Pe, always running behind TRPs. What a depressing nonsense yaar. No shame or respect for parents who lost their child.— Ashish Anand (@mranand82) September 12, 2017
An example of bad reporting. Who cares whether you are the first to report from the premises where terrible tragedy occurred?— Srinivas BP (@bpsrini) September 12, 2017
Is this some kind of joke?Journalism is reaching a new low everyday in our country these days.— Meenakshi (@meenakshi_aj) September 12, 2017
Please stop this circus on the name of journalism,a kid died,ask the authorities,question school,do something worth than this shameful act— Arpit Agrawal (@ArpitAgrawal85) September 12, 2017
Feature image source: Twitter/IndiaToday