This evening, a QEC student was chatting with me to warn me about the false information published by a newspaper regarding the case whereby a 15 year old student was found dead outside some flats. While the police is still inquiring, several people including the media are talking about a suicide case. It has been reported that she might have jumped from the 7th floor of that building.
However, as you have most probably heard on the radio or read on the newspaper / internet, the media has stated that the girl had already written her intentions on her account through the following words, I quote “It’s done. It’s finalized. I am ready to leave you guys”.
I was quite shocked when I heard about “her” status message on the radio. I must admit that I even started to draw my own conclusions, like probably many other Mauritians. “Her” status message did say a lot about her intentions.
Establishing the facts
In an attempt to write about what was really posted and try to restore facts, one of her friends has written an article on her blog whereby she explains in minute details about this distortion of information in the media.
As reported by this QEC student, the original WhatsApp status posted by Shrivali was as follows :
Now, I quote from the same article :
Someone they interviewed must have said something about a status and couldn’t get them the whole thing so they just took bits and parts of it. Oh but give me a second: Does not it dwell the duty of the reported to confirm the factual data?
The media casually removed “There’s no way on Earth” to twist the story and present a 180-degrees-rotated news to 1.2 million people. This is not even a mistake or shame for the Mauritian Media, it’s a blunt stigma on their unprofessional-ism.
She even writes about the presence of a press photographer who did not hesitate to shoot a picture of the mum crying and mourning over her daughter’s death :
As per the Hindu tradition, before they carry the body off to the crematorium, FAMILY members should surround the body for praying purposes. There was one photographer forced his way into the middle to take a picture of the mother crying with the face of the girl in the frame. After some time, he was back with QEC girls (Shrivali’s friends) to where her body rested and was asking them to stand by her and cry so that he could have another picture. He didn’t stop until the body was carried away to be cremated.
When will this stop?
This is not the first time that the media manipulates information and it is probably not the last time that this will happen. With the rush to create sensationalism, the press very often publishes partial and incomplete information. However, they most often do not care about the impact and harsh times the family and friends might be going through.
I just hope that all of us become more responsible to build a better society and country.
Update (19 May 2015) :
As commented by a reader below, defimedia has quietly updated their web site with the real status message, as reported in my blog post. No apologies, nothing. This is the real face of our media :