IANS Apologises After Offensive Word Against PM Causes a Stir
Indo-Asian News Service (IANS), a private news agency, has apologised after publishing a story where an offensive word was used for Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Indo-Asian News Service (IANS), a private news agency, has apologised after publishing a story where an offensive word was used for Prime Minister Narendra Modi.(Photo: The Quint/Shruti Mathur)

IANS Apologises After Offensive Word Against PM Causes a Stir

Indo-Asian News Service (IANS), a private news agency, has apologised after publishing a story in which an offensive word was used for Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The word was published in a story titled “Cabinet approves scheme on remunerative crop prices” on 12 September at 5:56 pm. An advisory was issued soon after alerting editors to the ‘error’ and the story was withdrawn.

Speaking to The Quint, Managing Editor of IANS, Hardev Sanotra, said the agency “deeply regrets the wholly inadvertent incursion of an unparliamentary reference to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in one of its reports yesterday.”

He added that the concerned reporter has been “suspended with immediate effect” and the concerned editor has been “issued a show-cause notice.”
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How A Story on Crop Prices Caused a Controversy

At 5:56 pm on 12 September 2018, IANS published a story on a scheme for remunerative crop prices. IANS is a news agency whose content is paid for and subscribed to by most news organisations in India. Since most online news outlets subscribe to IANS through an “auto-publish” option, the article along with the offensive word was published on various other portals as well.

A screenshot of the erroneous IANS copy. The Quint has blurred out the offensive word, as per its editorial policy.
A screenshot of the erroneous IANS copy. The Quint has blurred out the offensive word, as per its editorial policy.
(Photo Courtesy: Screenshot/IANS)  

Once the offensive word was spotted on Twitter, IANS hurriedly issued an advisory titled “NEWS ADVISORY: STORY KILL” at 7 pm.

The advisory issued by IANS after they realised the error. 
The advisory issued by IANS after they realised the error. 
(Photo Courtesy: Screenshot/IANS)

‘Error Is Unacceptable and Unconscionable’

In a statement to The Quint, Hardev Sanotra, Managing Editor at IANS, “apologised profoundly to our subscribers, readers and the Hon'ble Prime Minister.” Here’s his full statement on the issue.

“IANS deeply regrets the wholly inadvertent incursion of an unparliamentary reference to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in one of its reports yesterday.

The error is unacceptable and unconscionable. As soon as it was discovered, the report was pulled off from the wires and a corrected story issued.

Meanwhile, the reporter concerned has been suspended with immediate effect pending an urgent ongoing investigation. A show-cause notice has also been issued to the concerned editor.

IANS has always strived to uphold the values of accuracy, objectivity and rigour in its reportage and remains committed to the highest norms of journalistic ethics and excellence.

But anyone who is seriously associated with the media knows only too well that inadvertent mistakes, however egregious, can and sometimes do unfortunately take place. This being one such instance, perhaps the first in the over 25 year history of our organisation.

We apologise profoundly to our subscribers, readers and the Hon'ble Prime Minister for the error and assure them of our continued endeavour to produce objective, accurate and high quality reportage”

(This is a developing story and will be updated as more details are available.)

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