News agency journalist suspended for publishing report with expletive for PM Modi

New Delhi: 14 Sep 2018

Indo-Asian News Service (IANS), a leading Indian news agency, was left red-faced Wednesday after a report it published contained an expletive in the name of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The report was about the Modi government giving its approval to “pro-farmer” initiatives ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

The report was retracted from the website and IANS subscribers after the fiasco was discovered.

Reporter suspended

“IANS deeply regrets the wholly inadvertent incursion of an unparliamentary reference to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in one of its reports yesterday,” IANS managing editor Hardev Sanotra said in a statement emailed to ThePrint.

“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,” he said.

“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 concerned editor.

“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 over 25-year history of our organization.

“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,” Sanotra said.

Government ‘takes strong note’

Government sources said they had taken strong note of the episode as well, and will approach IANS authorities to track the action taken against the journalist responsible.

Founded by Indian-American publisher Gopal Raju, IANS counts several media organisations among its subscribers. It is one of the country’s two most prominent wire services, the other being Press Trust of India. ( The Print )