Chennai based Tamil news paper Dinamalar in a shocking news report published photos of several leading movie actress’s and accused them of being involved in sex scandals in the city. The editor of the magazine had published the news article based on information he gathered from an arrested TV artist Bhuvaneshwari who was in police custody on charges of prostitution and illegal trafficking of women.
What followed is a tussle between the Chennai Movie industry and the Chennai Press industry. Based on the Police complaint lodged by the South India Actors Association, Lenin – the editor of the magazine, was arrested on charges of Harassment of Women and has later been released on bail.
The Chennai Journalists are now teaming up and accusing the actors for using derogatory statements on the media during the protest meeting that the actors organized.
My take on this:
Journalists have a responsibility to make some ground check before publishing an article. Especially a news article that has the potential of damaging an individuals reputation – needs to be dealt with care. Dinamalar team obviously failed miserably here. It even appears that the team had published the article in purpose – an apparent display of envy.
Actors reaction to the incident is loaded with emotion. Rajni Kanth as usual addressed it from a humanitarian angle. Few actors used strong language loaded with emotion. Vijay Kanth on the contrary spoke like a seasoned politician and stressed the ethics in journalism. Sri Priya reacted aptly for most part and expressed her frustration. However she blasted the editor and publisher using some extreme language. I would have probably done the same, given the level of damage such an article can create.
Most Indian women would react sharply for a character judgement remark. Kudos to Sri Priya for a bold stand up with no holds barred.
The actors obviously were reacting to a mistake of a careless journalist. However, the magazine team acted in a clear state of mind while publishing the article. So in my opinion the Dinamalar team stands accused and arrest is well justified.
The Chennai Press Club and other journalists should stop fussing about the emotional reaction of the actors and get into grips with some fundamental journalistic ethics. Expecting an emotionally drained person to follow the rules, while you ignored it in the first place is no fair game.
Click here to read about the entire drama: Cine Actors and Journalist in Chennai on Collision Course