1. Writing the truth.
2. Quoting facts as they are and not as you would want them to be.
3. Making an effort: to verify and qualify.
Three basic things that it appears the Hindustan Times’ reporters seem to lack. While a gross negligence towards facts seems to be a common ground among the harried young journalists of today, a happy desire to pick up words and fling them about into convenient sentences has become an art form that should go on their resume.
Take the case of young Aakriti Sawhney, art and lifestyle reporter with HT City, Delhi. Doing a breathtakingly insicive piece (with Damini Purkayastha) on how Subodh Gupta isn’t hacking it in Sotheby’s anymore, they appear to have collected some quotes, and possibly feeling the need to add some more spice to the piece, decided to pick a random tweet by me and play scrabble with the words, ending up with a sentence with an entirely different meaning from it’s original intent. Of course, they didn’t bother to check with me (why would they when they planned to play switcheroo with the words) nor did they qualify who I am or use my full name – would have taken too much effort to click search on Google. After such hard work, here is what it looks like:
For those unfamiliar with Twitter, @Daffynitions is a clever alternative dictionary that light-heartedly invents alternative definitions of common words. A recent one was: “Symbolism: a great excuse for having a sink full of dirty dishes.” I found that funny. And is also reminded me – IRONICALLY – of an artist whom I respect, Subodh Gupta. Famous for his installations of pots and pans, it seems ironic in the context of the ‘Daffynition’. Hence my tweet: “Subodh Gupta’s pots and pans, anyone? #art “@Daffynitions: Symbolism: a great excuse for having a sink full of dirty dishes.”
Ms. Sawhney and Ms. Purkayastha, thrilled with the discovery of such a potentially juicy misquote, decided to take this innocent tweet into their clever hands and came up with this concoction: “Even fans are no longer buying it [Subodh Gupta and other artists’ worth]. ‘SG’s pots and pans, anyone? A great excuse for having a sink full of dirty dishes,’ tweeted Sitanshi.”
See full article: http://www.hindustantimes.com/Subodh-s-sotheby-s-shock/Article1-704468.aspx
I am left speechless (or not) at journalism full of such integrity and honesty.
At the moment, I am waiting for them to remove the words associated with my name, a polite request to follow the first 3 points above, if possible.
Update: Hindustan Times has removed the incorrect quote and has also issued a corrigendum.