After the headline fiasco in the wake of the terror attack on our jawans on Thursday, nation’s leading daily The Times of India which came under heavy shelling from readers across the country and even beyond, carried an Editor’s note “fully appreciating the sentiments” of millions of readers.
It is not clear whether the paper wants to say sorry for what readers described ridiculous headline or it stood by the headline. Nowhere the paper says its editors erred or the newsdesk did not apply its mind properly. The paper has neither justified the headline. The paper tried to put up a defence, saying “the headline clearly said that it was a terror attack. “
The paper said “while appreciating the sentiments, we wish to point out that our entire coverage was unambiguous in stating that terrorist was a member of Pakistan based and controlled Jaish-e-Mohammed. “
The paper said it condemns terror and grieves for the families of those martyred in Thursday’s attack.
An audio clip of readers calling up its Mumbai office and slamming the headline has gone viral.
Meanwhile in Pune readers protested outside Times office on the famous Fergusson College Road. The readers were furious, held noisy demonstration and even locked up the gates of the Times building. A traffic jam ensued on the already chaotic FC Road. Journalists of Times of India, Pune Mirror and Maharashtra Times and other staff spent nervous moments.
Initially there were only eight protestors, soon their strength went up to 200 which further shot up to 400.
The protestors had apparently written a mail to Times resident editor Joy Purukyastha who however made himself unavailable. Senior journalists Parag Karandikar and Abhijeet Atre had to face the protestors wrath. Both of them had a tough time trying cool down the charged up protestors. Both of them apologised to the protestors while pointing at Delhi hand, meaning headline was given by Delhi editors. The protest lasted three hours.
Staffers at Times lamented that when classic headlines were given, nobody turned up to appreciate. Also, on that particular day Times carried several stories on terror attack which no paper did.
Meanwhile, readers on social media commented that only The Indian Express had appropriate banner headline and a half page display of the terror attack. In fact, readers commented that everday The Indian Express stands out for its rivetting headlines.All the other English papers or the “National newspaers” had a tame display and soft headline to the ghastly attack on our soldiers, angry readers commented.