Why can’t these journalists verify before tweeting?

“Actor Vishal’s chennai office has been raided by GST officials”, tweeted @sunnewstamil, a very popular news channel in Tamil Nadu. As per our sources, Sun News was supposedly to be the first channel to report on this news item.

Times Now Deputy News Editor, Shabbir Ahmed, was the next in line to tweet about the same news, exactly at 4:35 PM.He went ahead further to tweet, “Actor Vishal who backed Vijay is being raided now by GST intelligence unit #MersalRaid ##MersalVsModi”, thus thereby already making a connection between the raid by GST Chennai Intelligence, H Raja and Mersal.

“A team of the GST Intelligence Agency conducted a routine inspection at the office of Vishal Film Factory, the production house owned by actor and President of Tamil Nadu Film Producers Council Vishal”, reported TheNewsMinute, a popular English website in South India.

Almost within two minutes of publishing the news, another fancy headline appeared on The Hindu suggesting that, “The Goods and Services Tax intelligence wing on Monday raided the office of Tamil actor Vishal’s film production company”. A systematic set of planned tweets in twitter also ensured that the news reached almost every nook and corner of social media, that too carrying the same agenda as mentioned above.

This connection as further expected went to IT, ED, CBI, GST, Gujarat and finally their favorite news item… yes you all guessed it right, PM Modi would have been the next target.

Within a matter of few hours, this news item has spread like wild fire all over the Nation with major websites and TV News Channels, Outlook, Scroll.in, JantaKaReporter, News18, Times Of India and Indian Express covering this story from almost the same angle. Thus they have planted a story with a connection and a clear predefined agenda.

Sangeetha Kandavel, an author with The Hindu, was probably the first person to refute the claim that this raid is a non-existent one. Probably the only mistake that we could spot here is the usage of the term Income Tax rather than GST Chennai Intelligence, but that too was it a mistake?

This was immediately refuted by Shabbir Ahmed, probably wrong choice of words doesn’t mean the news is fake right? Or as per these individuals does it? Well that is how Shabbir tried to portray it, until he tried to confront a twitter user with the id, @muraliwritess.

This was followed by a warning to Dhanya Rajendran while Shabbir Ahmed tried to feign the difference between raid and routine check. Clearly the cat is out of the bag, this most likely seems to be like a hit job from selected few people in Tamil Nadu without clarifying with any of the involved stakeholders.

Finally around 6:14 PM, an official confirmation came from Arvind Gunasekar, a journalist based out of New Delhi, proved that the raid was denied by GST Chennai Intelligence unit.

Many websites like the TheNewsMinute, were busy altering the content on their website and clearing the cache so that no one notices the changes they had made. Subsequently few of the Editors re-tweeted the Official statements of GST Chennai Intelligence and made an official confirmation with Vishal which stated that no GSI raids were conducted. As per the tweet from Dhanya, this looks like a routine Income Tax check.

Unfortunate for The Indian Express, they got caught in the action of editing the entire headline along with the article instead of writing a different article after GST Chennai Intelligence’s official statement. What happened to Journalism and it’s ethics? Clearly no one seem to know !!!

What seemed to be a never ending Indian blockbuster movie, the news seem to have come to a conclusion with Actor Vishal Krishna finally being summoned for failing to deposit a Tax Deducted at source (TDS) amount of Rs 51 Lakhs and he will be appearing to the IT authorities on Friday.

But, just as you least expect it to end, the Indian blockbuster movie starts again with individuals trying to create another Mersal vendatta. Didn’t these journalists deny the involvement of Income Tax department earlier?

Be it a true news or fake news item, one thing is very clear. There are a selected group of individuals in this Media industry who keep circulating news as per their own sources with very little or no verification.

As per their statement, yes there are a lot of fake news portals as suggested by these individuals, but then how different are you from them? You keep jumping back to your agenda and drive the story only as per your agenda? Shouldn’t agenda be taken out of the story while reporting it? How much can we trust journalists like you all, while all of you are only focused on your respective agendas and least bothered about the actual news?

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