Jang Group’s $100 Million ‘Scoop’Feb 5th, 2011 | By admin | Category: Jang, The News
Trying to get the ‘scoop’ on a story is a journalistic past time. Reporters want to be the first on the scene, and investigative journalists want to be the first to uncover a new angle. With fierce competition between media groups, publishing ‘Breaking News’ is a coveted prize. But there is a line between breaking a news story and peddling in unsubstantiated gossips, and crossing the line can have serious consequences as Jang Group is learning the hard way.
As you know, this is not the first time that Jang Group has thrown caution to the wind and run a story based on questionable web sites without properly verifying the data first. In December, Jang Group was one of the media groups to publish the infamous ‘Fakileaks’ story, only to print a retraction and apology once the hoax was exposed. At the time, we wrote that the correction was appreciated and “We hope that the lessons will be taken and all media groups will use the unfortunate incident to remind their editors and reporters of the importance of getting the story right.”
Unfortunately, Jang Group appears to have not learned the lesson and is now finding itself once again humiliated after publishing an internet hoax as ‘Breaking News’. Only this time the subject was personal lives, and the affected subjects are taking action.
In response to Jang Group’s publishing the internet hoax of president Zardari secretly marrying a Pakistani-American doctor, the Zardari family has sent legal notice to Jang Group specifically Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman and Shaheen Sehbai demanding immediate retraction and apology otherwise they will face legal action
“…for libel, malicious publication and intentional infliction of emotional distress in all jurisdictions where your newspaper is published, as well as any jurisdiction in which your paper has assets. This lawsuit will seek in excess of $100 million, which the Bhutto-Zardari family would donate to the victims of the 2010 floods in Pakistan.“
Jang Group has a staff of intelligent, well trained reporters and commentators that regularly produce useful reporting on local and national events. Why they continue to soil their reputation by falling prey to internet hoaxes, petty gossips, and political skulduggery is a question that Mr Rahman would do well to consider. Perhaps there is some personal animosity among some of their reporters, or perhaps it is simply the attempt to be the first to ‘scoop’ a juicy story. Whatever the cause, though, being the media group to take the latest internet hoax and run with it may cost them quite dearly.