we, the media

Indian Express steals from Rashmi Bansal's blog

The Indian Express has a massive feature, taking up two-thirds of a page in the print edition, featuring letters from people regarding the sad death of S Manjunathan. The strap on top says, "We have received an outpouring of letters from readers in India and overseas, many of them former classmates of the slain Manjunath."

The thing is, the Indian Express is lying.

These are not letters they have received, but excerpts from blogposts and comments. The first few "letters," in fact, are from a post Rashmi Bansal wrote on the subject here, and comments left on that post. That's right, they even stole the comments. In the print edition (and left off the online page, oddly), they also have a letter supposedly written by me, quoting the headline and the first line of this post, which sound rather stupid taken out of context.

IE is a newspaper I've admired for their editorial probity, and I am certain that this is just the work of some lazy sub-editor. I'd love to see what action they take against him or her. Also, they owe an apology to Rashmi, and to all the people they claimed wrote letters to them. This is out-of-character behaviour, and I hope they set the record straight.

Cross-posted on India Uncut.

Update: The Indian Express has changed all the content on the page I linked to. Heh. Anyone living in India can see it in the print edition, however. I shall scan it and post a jpeg if it becomes an issue.

Update 2: Do read this post of mine: Copyright and the internet.

Update 3 (November 26): The Indian Express has accepted its mistake in a strangely half-hearted way, and has not apologised. Do read my post: "Mistake? Yes, ok. Apology? No."

Update 4 (November 29): Dance With Shadows writes on this subject.
The original set of comments have been moved. The link at the post takes to a differerent set of comments.
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