Singapore — Sun TV, a popular Tamil news channel in India, has apologised and corrected an earlier report on the Little India riots in Singapore. But the reason for the original inaccurate report is that the Tamil media is not concerned about reporting the facts, but rather is pushing its own domestic political agenda, says a report from The Independent Singapore.
The original report from Sun TV wrongly claimed that the Indian national who died in the traffic accident that sparked the riot was pushed out of the bus by the driver.
Sun TV’s original report also claimed that the Tamils in Singapore were hiding in their homes because they were being attacked by Singaporeans and the Chinese.
The Independent Singapore website reported today that such reporting is no surprise to those familiar with the media and politicians in Tamil.
It all comes down to domestic politics, because the media is owned by different political parties, and they use the TV, radio and newspapers to push their own agenda and to derail the agenda of their political opponents.
The Independent report said the Tamil media “is playing to the domestic gallery at the behest of its political masters”.
Countries with large Tamil populations sometimes get dragged into this kind of reporting when the opportunity arises, said The Independent report.
Such reporting was commonplace during the conflict in Sri Lanka, when the Tamil media sometimes reported the very opposite of what was actually happening. And the Little India riots in Singapore got similar treatment, The Independent report claimed.
Singapore’s High Commissioner in New Delhi wrote to Sun TV about its erroneous report on the riot.
The editor in-charge of the news section of Sun TV took full responsibility for the incorrect news report in an email to Singapore’s Consul-General. He also gave an assurance that such an error will not happen again.
Another factor that weighs into inaccurate reporting is that the Tamil media tends to sensationalise every news story to attract more viewers and to obtain higher ratings and advertisement revenues, said The Independent.
“The problem becomes all the more precarious when elections are round the corner and correct reporting based on facts is pushed into the background. Sensationalism and rumour-mongering take centre-stage instead”, said The Independent.
India is holding an election for its central government in a few months, and this one is said to be the most polarising election in decades.