Media often sensationalise and mould the stories in a way it wants to. Ever heard about agenda setting? Media bombards you the news which is important to them which are unethically opinionated and fed to readers. Likewise one of the journalists Poonam Agarwal from online portal ‘The Quint’ recently conducted an interview with one of the Jawan, Lance Naik Roy Matthew by carrying hidden camera which is a breach of rules under Official Secrets Act. Sadly the consequence of this story is that it took a toll on the life of Roy Matthew.It started with a conversation between Poonam Agarwal and Sepoy Roy Matthew where Matthew spoke with good confidence but was unknown about the hidden camera which was carried by the journalist. This came to light when the video was uploaded on social media where Mathew had spoken about life in the army. But while uploading a video and writing the story the journalist edited and shaped it accordingly to highlight her news article and sensitised it to gain maximum publicity. That’s not where she stopped rather she edited and added her own comments and opinions alongside the edited clip of the interview.
This irresponsible attitude to grab a scoop and greed for publicity resulted in defamation and disrespecting the higher Army officials further built a mental pressure on the Sepoy Mathew Roy. The editing and shaping of the story were done in such a way that it aimed to dishonour and disrespect Indian Army. The content which was edited had misguiding information and was portrayed as the soldier’s (Mathew Roy) view.
The consequence of this action was that after the soldier realised about this secretly recorded video came under solid mental pressure and feared about his false impression about the army and soldiers life. Fearing this, Sepoy Mathew Roy went missing on February 25 after which army declared him as absent without leave and also they filed a missing complaint. On 3rd March the decomposed body of a soldier was found hanging from the ceiling in an abandoned barrack in the cantonment.
On this one of the army officer said that “It is very likely that the guilt factor of letting down his superiors or conveying a false impression to an unknown individual led him to take the extreme steps.” It was recalled on the basis of investigations report that the suicide may have resulted due to the pressure piled up after the video got published. The soldier made the last call to his family of February 25 and said that his words were recorded by a media without his knowledge and were very upset about it. His last text message was addressed to the same officer in which he ‘sorry’.
This act of misleading people by secretly recording the conversation initially puts the question on where are the ethics of media now! Also, it points out on media again when the video published has the faces blurred in it and also not taken the names of any officers. Breaking the code of conduct for media; it puts media in a negative frame. Also, the family of the soldier has blamed the media for this event and said that he was worried about his position in the army after the video went public.
This irresponsible behaviour of media has led to the loss of soldier’s life. Such media who feeds the nation breaches the codes of conduct! Isn’t it is shameful for such media outlets to allow them to publish their opinions and we to feed upon them for our information?