New Delhi: A story published by the news agency Indo-Asian News Service (IANS), has brought the organisation a great deal of embarrassment, forcing them to publish an apology for the same.
In a story titled “Cabinet approves scheme on remunerative crop prices” that was published on 12 September at 5.56 PM, an offensive word in reference to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seemed to have sneaked into the article. The story was withdrawn and an advisory was sent out to editors subscribed to the agency, alerting them of the ‘error’ in the article.
Considering that most news organisations are subscribed to IANS through an “auto-publish” option, the story along with the offensive word was published across various online news portals. IANS became aware of the egregious error when they saw it on Twitter, prompting them to publish an advisory titled “NEWS ADVISORY: STORY KILL” at 7 PM the same day.
Hardev Sanotra, Managing Editor at IANS, told The Quint via a statement that the agency regretted the “unparliamentary reference to Prime Minister Narendra Modi” in the report and added that the reporter responsible for the error was suspended immediately pending an urgent ongoing investigation along with being issued a “show-cause notice.” Sanotra also apologised to their subscribers, readers and the prime minister saying that the error is unacceptable and unconscionable.
Sanotra’s full statement read: “IANS deeply regrets the wholly inadvertent incursion of an unparliamentary reference to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in one of its reports yesterday.”
The error is unacceptable and unconscionable. As soon as it was discovered, the report was pulled off from the wires and a corrected story issued.
Meanwhile, the reporter concerned has been suspended with immediate effect pending an urgent ongoing investigation. A show-cause notice has also been issued to the editor concerned.
IANS has always strived to uphold the values of accuracy, objectivity and rigour in its reportage and remains committed to the highest norms of journalistic ethics and excellence.
But anyone who is seriously associated with the media knows only too well that inadvertent mistakes, however egregious, can and sometimes do unfortunately take place. This being one such instance, perhaps the first in the over 25 year history of our organisation.
We apologise profoundly to our subscribers, readers and the Hon’ble Prime Minister for the error and assure them of our continued endeavour to produce objective, accurate and high quality reportage.”