NDTV, which has been infamous for its prejudicial coverage and manipulative news coverage has drawn fire once again- this time for airing a graph on central legislators facing criminal charges.
The NDTV graph however misrepresented the factual details. But the graph shows BJP towering over all other parties insofar MPs facing criminal charges are concerned.
The graph naturally drew a lot of flak on social media. Users questioned why BJP with 39 per cent tainted legislators was represented by the tallest graph line. While Congress with 57 per cent and JDU with 81 per cent MPs were shown with much smaller, negligible graph lines.
Even DMK and TMC with 43 per cent and 41 per cent tainted MPs have also been represented in a highly downplayed manner.
I always appreciated @ndtv graphics. But, today they opened my eyes. New learning.
I thought 39 is less than 57, 81, 43 and 41, but 39 bar is tallest! Because it is BJP and channel is NDTV. I bow to @PrannoyRoyNDTV – the father of elegant statistical presentation 🙏😄🙏💐 pic.twitter.com/srUTGez8zA
— Ratan Sharda 🇮🇳 (@RatanSharda55) February 14, 2020
Having realised the outrage that it was facing, NDTV took to Twitter apologising for the misleading bar graph that aired on the media outlet.
It tweeted, “We apologise for an incorrect representation on air yesterday of each party’s share of MPs with criminal records. This is the correct graphic.”
We apologise for an incorrect representation on air yesterday of each party's share of MPs with criminal records. This is the correct graphic. pic.twitter.com/RXBcNLABHJ
— NDTV (@ndtv) February 14, 2020
Even this “correct graphic” is however highly misleading and misrepresentative. This time around it mentions absolute numbers for every party.
The BJP is once again shown right on top. The average viewer would draw the idea that it is the BJP which holds the lion’s share of tainted lawmakers. JDU might look like a clean party with 13 tainted MPs compared to BJP’s 116.
However, NDTV has manipulated simple mathematics here. The BJP has 303 legislators in the Parliament. Therefore, even with a far lesser percentage of MPs facing criminal charges, the party is bound to have a greater absolute number of tainted lawmakers than other parties, say Congress, which with the 52 seats that it won in the Lok Sabha polls is bound to have fewer tainted MPs even though more than half of its legislators are facing criminal charges.
The same holds true for other parties like the JDU, the TMC or the DMK. The BJP produces lesser lawmakers with criminal records out of every 100 MPs that it produces. But due to the highly disproportion number of BJP MPs, it has higher absolute numbers of tainted MPs.
NDTV therefore doesn’t fail to disappoint. This bar graph is not fake news because it uses real information. But uses it in a rather shrewd, manipulative manner. This is a classical case of spinning reality and creating a false impression on viewers’ mind, something that NDTV has excelled at.