Unethical Misinterpretation by Rajdhani

On Wednesday, Dec 19, Rajdhani national daily newspaper published a front-page photo of Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai and Chief Justice Khilraj Regmi. The five-column photo shows Regmi standing while PM seems to be bowing to CJ with his hands joined together.

The captain says: “Need Support Your Honor: Prime Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai who is also the Minister of Law greeting Chief Justice Khilraj Regmi during his participation in a program organized to mark 22nd anniversary of Justice Council.”

Rajdhani

The photo is not beautiful and other than what Rajdhani wanted to show us (that they explained in caption), it would not fit for publication in five columns of the front-page of a newspaper.

It was of course their choice to publish it and I am not questioning their selection but then how they tried to explain the photo is grossly unethical by professional standard of journalism.

The truth is: PM Bhattarai was not bowing to CJ, he was about to sit while the photo was taken; and although it looked like he has joined his hand to greet, he hasn’t. It’s one hand. One can clearly see the arm of other hand in closer look.

Photo published in Rajdhani. By Ashok Maharjan
Photo published in Rajdhani. By Ashok Maharjan

I searched around for other photos of the event and found a photo by Bhaswor Ojha of Republica which is a few second before the photo published by Rajdhani. If you look at both photos, it becomes clear that Rajdhani misinterpreted the photo.

Photo by Bhaswor Ojha just before PM proceeds to sit and Rajdhani photo was taken.
Photo by Bhaswor Ojha just before PM proceeds to sit and Rajdhani photo was taken.

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