What made ANI to report fake news? was ANI under pressure to give a positive spin to the story?

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Asian News International (ANI) recently reported a story of Monu, a tea seller in New Delhi’s RK Puram, who has taken the inconvenience caused by demonetisation in his stride.

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ANI reports said Monu had started to accept online payment of even as less as Rs 7, in light of the cash crunch.

ANI Screenshot
ANI Screenshot

To add to the story, the news agency interviewed customers as well, to see what they thought of Monu’s innovation.

ANI Screenshot
ANI Screenshot

It has now come to light however that the ‘customer’ interviewed is actually an ANI employee. Shashank Tyagi, the ‘customer’s Facebook profile shows he’s a News Updater at ANI.

Truth of Gujarat Image
Truth of Gujarat Image

After facing backlash online, with people calling the news agency “Modi Bhakts” and accusing them of manufacturing propaganda, ANI deleted the tweet. Subsequently, they also tweeted an apology saying they regretted the “error” in the tweets/story.

What the “error” was however, has not been specified. ANI has released no further statement or clarification on the matter.

ani-apology

While Monu’s story could well be true, the fact that the agency felt the need to stage the interview to get a positive byte throws up one big question – was ANI under pressure to give a positive spin to the story?

Source : The Quint

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