RAJIV SINGHAL AGAINST INDIAN NEWSLINK
Case Number: 3308
Council Meeting: SEPTEMBER 2022
Decision: No Grounds to Proceed
Publication: Indian Newslink
Principle: Accuracy, Fairness and Balance
Indian Newslink published an article on August 8, 2022, headlined: The highs and lows of rebel MP Dr Gaurav Sharma. The article started with the comment that Dr Sharma rarely responded to email messages from the publication and that this corroborated the view by constituents that he is “picky”.
The article then reported a range of opinion in Dr Sharma’s Hamilton West electorate. There was some positive and negative comment, although none of the views expressed were attributed to anybody.
Rajiv Singhal complained that the paper should have reported positive views from people like him and offered his experience, which was a positive one. The fact that the paper did not publish his story suggested they had made up their mind, he said. The article was biased and maligned Dr Sharma’s reputation, Dr Singhal said.
The editor Venkat Raman replied saying he was happy that Dr Singhal had a positive experience with Dr Sharma. He added that people were entitled to their opinions and the job of a newspaper was to present diverse views.
The Media Council finds that the article contained both positive and negative comments. Amongst other things it reported Dr Sharma was well rated as a DHB board member and GP and that some people support him wholeheartedly. It was the editor’s prerogative to decide whether or not to print further experiences of others like Dr Singhal. No case has been made to show the story was inaccurate, unfair or unbalanced.
Decision: There were insufficient grounds to proceed.