Not too long ago, India’s rising media portal OpIndia published a data story by Abhishek Banerjee, Assistant Professor (Math) at IISc Bangalore to show how Prime Minister Narendra Modi is way ahead of Rahul Gandhi in terms of popularity according to Google Trends.
After this story, Business Standard, a daily newspaper, also published a story on a similar topic using the same tool. But strikingly, in Business Standard story, the results were diagonally opposite and somehow portrayed Rahul Gandhi ahead of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in terms of popularity according to the Google Trends data.
As soon as the news story was published, Professor Abhishek Banerjee, who writes for OpIndia, did a fact check and published a counter to Business Standard story. This resulted in the withdrawal of the story put up by Business Standard.
It is not the first time that investigations into some planned or motivated articles by fact checkers have led to their withdrawal. Previously too, news portals like BBC (here) among others had to withdraw their research after being called out for its unsubstantiated findings and dubious methodology.
How the Twitteratis reacted to Withdrawal of the Story by Business Standard
As India enters into the election season, having a mainstream newspaper like Business Standard unable to meet the journalistic standards should raise alarm bells among the media fraternity.
Here is one such detailed story by The True Picture as to how some media houses for far too long have attempted to manufacture opinion, instead of reporting on facts.
Read here: Rahul Gandhi Coming of Age Again?