A lot of media houses have been pulled up for their insensitive coverage of actor Sushant Singh Rajput's death by suicide. News channel Aaj Tak in particular has been called out for its lack of empathy.
Firstly, a reporter from the news channel kept bombarding the shell-shocked father of the actor in his Patna residence. Then, came the headlines. 'Hit Wicket' were just some of the headline tickers that left Twitterati furious, prompting #ShameOnAajTak to trend.
In a widely shared and criticised video clip, the Aaj Tak anchor can be heard stating that Rajput's father "was not in a state to talk". The anchor then goes on to wonder if his sisters are available to talk and would be able to "shed light on why Sushant took such a step".
Not just Aaj Taj, Zee News, too, was accused of insensitivity. The ticker 'Patna Fail' prompted people to call out Sudhir Chaudhury and his team.
But this isn't the only time the Indian media has messed up its coverage of sensitive issues. In 2018, following the death of Sridevi, Indian news channels left no stone unturned to use her death for increasing their TRPs. They created 'world-class' visuals and explained their readers 'how the actress must have died'. They did not just stop at it and also broadcasted stories which suggested that 'Shridevi died due to suicide'.
Check out the reactions here:
This criticism isn't anything new for Aaj Tak. The channel has a history of such coverages.
In another instance, in 2019, Aaj Tak news anchor Anjana Om Kashyap faced flak after she decided to enter the ICU at the Shri Krishna Medical College Hospital in Bihar's Muzaffarpur, walking through a space that seems to be filled with patients and doctors and trying to interview them. This was at a time when many in the state were suffering from Acute Encephalitis Syndrome.
Then came their "recreation" of the Hyderabad rape-murder. This was apparently done in an attempt to understand how the victim could have been saved. The channel, in a video posted online, showed an anchor riding an Activa. The anchor then walks viewers through a rendition of the events leading up the horrific crime.
Zee News is no different. Their continuous coverage of various issues has drawn the channel fair share of criticism.