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When Yogi Adityanath Talked About Potholes And MSM ‘Brayed’ Something Else

Published on 30 April, 2017 at 10:51 pm By

Lost in transliteration is exactly how you may describe this incident, but this should also serve as a reminder to over-enthusiastic journalists and media houses who push journalists to deliver scoops.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath addressed the people of Deoria today. In his address, the CM said that his government will ensure that the grievances of the people are addressed and their problems solved.


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Indian Express

During his speech, the CM said something about roads as posted in these two tweets by ANI:

 


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The script is English but the language is Hindi. This is what is called transliteration – when you write words of a different language in a script known to you for pronunciation.

And this is where things might get embarrassing for anyone trying to be the first one to report what the UP CM said.

Notice this word again.

 

Basically, the CM was talking about ‘gaddha’, as in pothole. But a few media houses read the word as ‘gadha’, meaning donkey.

They thought that the CM was planning to make UP a “donkey-free” state. Obviously, this was a major story for them and so they gave headlines that screamed “donkey-donkey”.

What CM Adityanath said:

“UP came to known as the place from where potholes in roads start and where it was completely dark after nightfall. We have now decided to ensure that by June 15, UP’s roads are free from potholes.”

What the MSM understood:

“UP came to be known as the place where donkeys crowd the streets and where it was completely dark after nightfall. We have now decided to ensure that by June 15, UP’s streets are donkey-free.”

Unfortunately their egregious error did not go unnoticed (and unpunished) by social media.

Though the media houses removed the articles which made a joke of journalism, understanding of regional language, not to mention common sense, social media even dug up the deleted articles from Google archives.

 

This Twitter user pointed out the major problem:

 

And though one media house issued an apology, the damage to mainstream media’s credibility had been done.


One lesson that every media house should learn right now is not to go hell for leather in reporting. The second is to either learn the regional languages well or at least learn to pronounce words through transliterations.


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Here is also an example of how fake news gets disseminated. One leading MSM reports, the rest follow like a herd. No one cares to verify. This incident may be taken on a lighter note, but in a world where a comma can turn a statement on its head, media houses need to be more responsible.

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