India’s News Express fired its reporter Narayan Pargaien for “sitting on the shoulder of a man while reporting in Uttarakhand flood,” according to a June 26 statement published on the TV news station’s website.
The News Express, which identifies itself as a two-year-old “first HD television,” called Pargaien’s actions “inhuman,” “against the culture of our esteemed organisation,” and “against cultural values of our Channel.”
According to the statement, News Express didn’t air the clip in question, “but it was uploaded by someone we don’t know.” Check out video of the segment over on the UK Telegraph’s website.
Further, News Express channel head Nishant Chaturvedi told News.com.au that “reporters are supposed to be brand ambassadors of a channel” and the station doesn’t “advocate” Pargaien’s actions.
According to Pargaien, a local man suggested the odd way to report. “It wasn’t my idea to begin with, but there was this man who took me to his home and asked me to report the damage he had suffered,” Pargaien said, adding that the man “lost a lot in the flood” and that he gave the man some money:
“We helped him with some food and some money and he was grateful to us and wanted to show me some respect, as it was the first time someone of my level had visited his house. So while crossing the river he offered to help by carrying me on his shoulder, between which, I thought of reporting the flood.”
Pargaien did admit that his actions were “journalistically wrong” but said the online reaction to his report was unfair. Further, he wouldn’t identify the person in question but put the blame for the incident on his cameraman because he said the video was only supposed to show “chest-up.”
“This was entirely the cameraman’s fault, who, it seems, almost tried to sabotage my career by shooting from that distance and angle and releasing the video mocking this whole incident, and making me the villain,” Pargaien told News Laundry.
iMediaEthics has written to News Express’s channel head Nishant Chaturvedi seeking more information about the firing and the video. We’ll update with any response.