Four lessons in journalism from Tata’s chief PRO

19 January 2011

Christabelle Noronha, corporate affairs chief of the Tata group, in a letter to the editor of the business daily, Mint, which had carried a story on the Tatas blacklisting The Pioneer, Outlook*, Open, India Today group and The Times of India group for their “biased reporting” of the 2G spectrum allocation scam:

“Is it not substandard, even mischievous, journalism when tapped conversations, whose authenticity has not been established, are reproduced without any attempt to follow the standard journalistic norm of getting the other person’s point of view?

“Is it not substandard, even mischievous, journalism when large dollops of juicy conversations unconnected with telecom are touted as being akin to proof of involvement with the “2G scam”, and Ratan Tata’s picture, as also of others similarly unconnected, is put on a magazine cover?

“Is it not biased journalism when patently incorrect and damningly one-sided reports are carried on a television channel and a magazine belonging to one media entity, not once but repeatedly, without any attempt to seek our point of view?

“Is it not biased journalism when the detailed rebuttals sent by us are not even acknowledged, let alone printed, by the same media entity? In all of this, it is intriguing that your editorial does not mention that one media house which has been the most biased of all.

“The Indian media is, fortunately, much larger than the handful of its members who have been prejudiced and unprofessional with their recent coverage of the Tata group.”

* Disclosures apply

Photograph: courtesy HyBiz

Read the full letter: Christabelle Noronha

Also read: Have the Tatas blacklisted The Times of India again?

External reading: Ratan Tata interviewed by Christabelle Noronha

Christabelle Noronha in The Hindu on the making of Tata Nano

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One Response to “Four lessons in journalism from Tata’s chief PRO”

  1. K M Thomas Says:

    In reply to four lessons in journalism from Tata’s chief PRO, Christabelle Noronha, I wish to ask her a single question related to basic business ethics.

    If I give enough proof that in Tata’s billions a sum of Rs.1000/- of a layman who did not meet Tata’s own identity standards to get a telephone connection is languishing would she send an apology to me who is the victim.

    I could prove that even letters addressed to the top man of Tata Telecom remained unanswered. A letter sent to Mr. Rattan Tata was acknowledged by his Secretary and one person came to attend my complaint and during our conversation his telephone was constantly ringing of complaints from Tata’s Telecom clients. Nothing happened and the initial payment of Rs.1000/- as deposit is turning on in grief under Tata’s funds. I have great respects for Mr. Rattan Tata; but he has no time to care for the ethics on which Tata Name was built by its founders. I have no objection to your revealing my Email identity to Tata’s Chief P R O so that she stops preaching ethics to the Press that only adheres to its duty of guarding public interests. Physician heal thyself!


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