Top 10 lies spread by the Indian media in 2014 2014 saw some of the biggest lies being spread by our Mainstream media. Reporting standards crashed to all time lows, not that they were very high anytime. But now, since Social media had become so active, there was nothing to hide behind. We bring you the top 10 Hitjobs/Brainfades/Goof-Ups/Supari-Journalism of our Mainstream Media in 2014: 1. All Media Houses: BJP will bring back black money within 100 days. I donâ€™t need to post any link to the story here, everybody knows this oft-repeated tale. Apparently, Rajnath Singh, at some rally, promised to bring back Black money in 100 days. Well it took a Twitter user @kartikeyaTanna to bring out the truth here. He pulled out the video of the rally, in which Rajnath Singh clearly said â€œ100 din ke andar karyavahee prarambh kar dengeâ€ i.e. an enquiry will be started into the Black Money case within 100 days of coming to power. Not sure what sort of Journalistic degree is required to twist â€œwill start and enquiryâ€ to â€œwill bring back moneyâ€. 2. Navbharat Times: 3 lakh bogus voters found in Modiâ€™s Varanasi Navbharat times reported in November, 6 months after the Lok Sabha elections, that the Election Commission had detected 3,11,057 bogus voters and it was estimated that the total bogus voters number could reach 6,47,085. I donot know how they arrived at this exact estimate though. Even Paragon of Truth Arvind Kejriwal tweeted this report out: The â€œTruthâ€ was out when RK Pandey, additional Chief Electoral Officer of State Election Commission of Uttar Pradesh gave out a clarification that â€œthey are just repeated names, not repeated votersâ€. Was this just a case of poor comprehension skills of a reporter? 3. The Business Standard: Modi mantra: Lean Cabinet, not so lean PMO This news article tried to make a point that although PM Modi talks about â€œlean cabinetâ€ etc, his PMO employs more staff than even his predecessor. This report was based on an RTI reply from the Government apparently. But it â€œwrongly interpretedâ€ the figures in the RTI reply and put out an erroneous report. The fact was, the current PMOâ€™s staff strength had actually come down to 385, from 411 employed by the earlier PMO. The PMO itself came out with a clarification stating this, seeing the misreporting and resultant outrage. One wonders whether the Business Standard could have just bothered to ask the PMO whether their â€œinterpretationâ€ was correct, before posting this piece. 4. Times of India/Doordarshan: â€˜Narendra Modi said Priyanka was like his daughter, DD censored itâ€™ This is the earliest report of this I can find. Times of India claimed that in his interview to Doordarshan, Modi had said â€œPriyanka Gandhi Vadra was like his daughterâ€ and that DD later on edited this part out. This report was probably based on the rather oddly edited interview, which was telecast by Doordarshan. This led to a war of words between Priyanka and Modi. Once again, Modi had to step in and clear this by releasing the full video of the interview. As it turns out, no such statement was ever made. A case of making up statements from half-cooked info, where Doordarshan for once, maybe more at fault than Times of India. 5. Times of India: Govt wants schools to observe â€˜good governance dayâ€™ on Christmas This is a fairly recent controversy and should be fresh in everybodyâ€™s mind. You can read about it here. In this case too, due to a false report, the HRD ministry had to come out with a clarification, and there too it mentioned that â€œNo Clarification was sought by the reporter for the Secretary, School Education before going to pressâ€. Is it so hard to ask the subject before posting any news about it? 6. Times of India: IIT Delhi director quits over demand for Sachinâ€™s academy, Swamyâ€™s dues IIT-Dâ€™s Director resigned 2 years prior to his term getting over. Times of India, from its sources determined that this was because of 2 reasons: 1. Pressure from the government to allocate land for Sachin Tendulkarâ€™s cricket academy 2. Subramanian Swamyâ€™s salary dues. While the 2nd reason is still under debate, Sachin came out strongly against the first point: This forced Times of India to retract, since such a harsh censuring from Indiaâ€™s greatest sportsperson was clearly something they couldnâ€™t handle. Once again, its clear from Sachinâ€™s post, that Times of India did not bother to confirm the facts with Sachin, before sullying his name. This seems like an epidemic now. 7. Reuters India: India slashes health budget, already one of the worldâ€™s lowest In this story, Reuters India claimed, and I quote, â€œThe government has ordered a cut of nearly 20 percent in its 2014/15 healthcare budget due to fiscal strains, putting at risk key disease control initiatives in a country whose public spending on health is already among the lowest in the worldâ€. The truth again, would be apparent with anyone even mildly familiar with how Budgets work Every December, Governments have to â€œRevise Budgetary Estimatesâ€ in line with the money they were able to spend till date. In the current scenario, since the Government realised that the they would not be able to spend all the allocated money, it cut its estimates by 20%. The estimate before this adjustment, was in fact 5% more than what the previous Government had allocated in FY 2013-14. This makes its clear that it is not the intent that is lacking, but rather the Government is not in a position to spend this money, due to multiple reasons. But Reuters chose to spin this as if the Government isnâ€™t bothered about Healthcare 8. The Hindu: Ramdev claims cure for Ebola This piece claimed Baba Ramdev has found a cure for Ebola. It said â€œYoga guru Baba Ramdev has put out an advertisement offering a health pack for preventing Ebola virusâ€œ. Till then (now for that matter) Baba Ramdev had never claimed to have any such product. Then why was Hindu doing such free publicity for him? It was based on the ads placed on a site called Baba Ramdev Products, Baba Ramdev Medicine, Patanjali Products USA, which by its own admission has nothing to do with Baba Ramdev. In fact this disclaimer on the front page makes it clear. Wonder if the concerned journalist did not read this or just wanted a story. 9. Times of India: Modi in Rambo Act, saves 15000 This figment of imagination story, would put even the most hardcore bhakt to shame. Times of India claimed Modi â€œmanaged to bring home some 15,000 stranded Gujarati pilgrimsâ€ from Uttarakhand. Of course, anybody with the slightest common sense would realise this is an impossible feat, considering all the logistics, the terrain and the floods in Uttarakhand. Obviously there was outrage and ridicule on Social Media, which forced Times of India to apologise. As it emerged, what could have actually happened is that Modi Governmentâ€™s efforts could have helped an estimated 15000 people, in the form of â€œfood, shelter, medicines and transport to reach their homesâ€. So much for â€œrescuing 15000 peopleâ€. 10. Times of India: RBI to blame for slowdown in manufacturing: Arun Jaitley You just cant keep Times of India out of the picture. To end the year on a â€œhighâ€, Times of India claimed that Arun Jaitley said that â€œRBIâ€™s insistence on keeping high interest rates as the singular factor responsible for the slowdown in the manufacturing sectorâ€œ. But, if Times of India publishes something, then there almost always has to be a rebuttal By 12.30pm next day, Arun Jaitley took to Facebook to set the record straight. He clarified that there was not a single sentence reference (not even a word) in his entire speech on either the Reserve Bank or its Governor. He also shared the video of his speech to let readers decide. Another instance of Imaginative Journalism. Sigh!