Tue, 07 Feb 2023

Crux: Three celebrated journalists of Reuters, Christopher Bing, Raphael Satter and Jack Stubbs, claimed to have defamed a small-businessman using his picture in a news without his permission

An article was published in The Print, stating that three Reuters journalists visited India for a cyber story and inappropriately took a picture of a small businessman, calling his a hacker. They further went ahead and published his picture with their cyber story. Since, Reuters is the largest media organization, the article circled quickly and the poor businessman had to suffer for it.

Reuters later acknowledged the issue but sidelined it, saying that it was just a photo goof-up. But various publications are reporting otherwise.

As per reports, the journalist addressed Mr. Kumar as the alleged hacker owning Belltrox. This happened when Mr. Kumar was calmly sipping tea outside the building of his office. Mr. Kumar completely denied being the person, showing his identity proof to the journalists. But, they anyways went ahead, took his picture and used it for their story.

It does not seem like a regular picture mistake that happens due to inaccurate information on internet. Instead, it seemed more like a deliberate act of taking anyone's picture for the sake of it to use in their story which points out towards inaccurate reporting standards of the largest news agency in the world. Another important thing to note is that all these three journalists are experienced professionals and still they did not pay much heed to the denial by Mr.Kumar.

Reuters' casual approach towards such inaccurate reports hardly saw any real implications, which suggests that, more or less, Reuters has accepted the decreasing standard of reporting but this whole chain of events had caused damage to Mr. Kumar's image.

The defense presented by Reuters lacked any base as well. As per Reuters, it was a mistake and it happened because both Mr. Kumar and Mr. Gupta of Belltrox has same address. In fact, they did not even shared a common building. As per the information available online:- Belltrox's is -Belltrox Digital Security (P) LtdH-9/g.56 vardhaman corp.plaza, Netaji Subhash Place Complex-Pitampura, Delhi - 110034, Near p.p.jewellers; whereas, Mr. Kumar's office address was - Newzet Retails Private Limited.

H7 G12, Agarwal Plaza, Netaji Subhas Place, Lal Building, New Delhi-110034, Delhi, India.

This poses several questions about how seriously Reuters actually takes the issue of inaccurate reporting journalists. There have been various incidents in the past that has pointed out that Reuters has a defined bias towards eastern countries and its issues. Can this be a regulating behavior of Reuters' attitude towards such inaccurate reporting cases as it was in this case? Maybe.

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