Indian Media Criticised for Nepal Quake Coverages

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KATHMANDU: Mainstream Indian media is drawing flak from Nepalese social media for its coverage of the earthquake, media reports say.

Frustrated Nepalese took to social media in their numbers, protesting what they have been calling the insensitive, triumphant and jingoistic coverage of the earthquake that devastated the landlocked country and trended #GoHomeIndianMedia.

The Nepalese social media users said in over 60,000 tweets that Indian media were treating the tragedy as a “public relations exercise” on behalf of the Indian government, according to India’s The Hindu newspaper.

While India’s rescue effort has been praised, media’s coverage of the calamity and that of the relief operation seem to have left a bitter aftertaste among Nepalis.

Kunda Dixit, a veteran journalist and editor of Nepali Times said: “Some Nepalis, not all, feel Indian media is a bit patronising in their attitude and that is perhaps why such sentiments are being expressed. That is how a section of Nepali media also feels.”

The Times of India, India’s largest English-language newspaper, said Monday that the Indian media had been “shown their place on social media” when the hashtag started trending.

An open letter posted on CNN Nepal’s Saroj Kharel wrote: Your media and media personnel are acting like they are shooting some kind of family serials. If your media person can reach to the places where the relief supplies have not reached, at this time of crisis can’t they take a first-aid kit or some food supplies with them as well?

It also underscored that the coverage by the Indian television channels, “the  first on the ground,” after the earthquake crippled Nepal, “has driven the global response to Nepal.”

But the channels’ “relentless quest to feed 24/7 news networks have elicited stories that may have been exaggerated.”

India’s First Post reported that the trend has come as a slap in the face of the journalists who have flocked to the country in a bid to bring 24×7 coverage of the disaster to their respective outlets.

The devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake has left over 7,000 dead in the impoverished country.

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