London based weakly magazine The Economist, with a global readership continues to deliver inaccurate and unbalanced reporting on Bangladesh and India and to its time-tested relations. While some reports have exposed a pattern of bias in Economist coverage, the author repeatedly failed to address these documented concerns. Probably it may give an impression to some of us but the fact is The Economist frequently misrepresents the truth and omits relevant details. Recent reports on Bangladesh captured the animosity and carelessness with fact commonplace in the publication. We believe the reports clearly exposed its hatred and bigotry against Bangladeshi and Indian people as a whole. Without doubt, many people, especially the Bangladeshi people, feel hurt by this barefaced assault.
The Economist breaks up its print edition each week into geographical regions (The United States, the Americas, Europe, The Middle East and Africa, Asia, and Britain) that own measure its half-million weekly readers. Economist should stick to the fabrication as its business or leave journalism to those who know and care something about the honest reporting of fact.
Some example of The Economist’s biased reports:
The readers, in fact, are realizing the charisma of the Economist’s former editor, Bill Emmott. Now new phrase would be popular like “DON’T BE TOO ECONOMIST”.
- It’s commonly known that they owe their supports to the Republican Party of USA and President Obama i.e. the Democrats are also their target in action.
- Mad and Hyderabad: Nameless, ruthless and pointless : http://www.economist.com/node/9725391
- Comparing extremist Praveen Togadia with Jawaharlal Nehru: Bridging the divide : http://www.economist.com/node/10015201?story_id=10015201
- Misinformation in India’s country profile : http://www.economist.com/countries/India/index.cfm
- Prediction about India’s Election: Early elections for India?
The Economist wrote : According to a survey in early September by the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, the UPA would increase its seats from the 222 it won in May 2004 to 267. Meanwhile, the BJP-led coalition, the National Democratic Alliance, would win 133 seats, compared to 189 in 2004. The Left party’s number of seats in the national parliament would fall to, down from 59.
Indian response: What comes across as ridiculous is the analysis on the possible outcome of the mid-term polls. Among other things, the Economist relies on questionable opinion poll data that have a notorious record for being wrong 99% of the time.
- Readers comment: I also get a good laugh out of their tacit disdain for French liberalism/laziness: http://www.economist.com/displayStory.cfm?Story_ID=S%27%2BX4%2FQ%21%5B%22%23%40%23D%0A
- Dani Rodrik: (Works on economic development and globalization) : Wrote an article : Should I start reading The Economist again? He quoted : “The Economist was making sense. Its one thing to be opinionated, another to be misinformed and arrogant at the same time. After one too many articles in this mold, I simply stopped picking up the magazine”. http://rodrik.typepad.com/dani_rodriks_weblog/2008/03/should-i-start.html PLS READ THE COMMENTS OF READERS ABOUT The ECONOMIST
- The Clueless Economist: http://acorn.nationalinterest.in/2007/09/03/the-clueless-economist/
- Political affray in Malaysia : Taken to the cleaners : The KDN’s arm doesn’t reach that far. http://www.economist.com/node/18959359 It was baseless report. After strong protest, Malaysia Today reported,: (The Malaysian Insider) Only the false and misleading parts of The Economist’s article on the Bersih rally were blacked out, the home ministry said today. http://www.malaysia-today.net/mtcolumns/newscommentaries/42188-home-ministry-only-the-false-parts-were-blacked-out-in-economist-article
- The All-China Journalists Association (ACJA) “We are truly stunned and shocked by a recent racist and hateful remark on the Chinese people by your news commentator.
- Journalist group urges to apologize
We can go on with more controversial news report links on Italy, Russia, and Middle East and even on religion.
Biased reports on Bangladesh
A scan of months of Economist reporting discloses persisting unfairness. In particular, Economist coverage continues to characterize imprecisely Bangladesh Government’s actions.
Lets analyze its’ reports.
1) They have no representative in Bangladesh so its natural that they would be careful about contents while reporting.
2) They have representatives in India. But their reports on India were skewed and it may raise question whether they are practicing yellow journalism or not!
3) Bangladesh related reports were published without any author’s name, some in the name of A.R. and Banyan. It’s certain that they knowingly published the fabricated reports and to safeguard from any legal measures it was published in this way.
Yet they cannot deny the liabilities.
Key points of the reports:
Terming Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina as being autocratic and democracy
It’s a blatant lie. She always welcomed opposition parties specially BNP for discussion and to join in the parliament session.
Gains of BNP in local polls, criticism of government’s different steps uttered/articulated in print and electronic media, independent judicial system, Human Rights Commission all these clearly indicates that Awami League want to ensure democracy and democratic norms. It should be noted that AL didn’t fire a single govt. employee for political connection with opposition, the scenario was always opposite when BNP assumed power.
Question on Parliamentary Election-2008
9th Parliamentary election of Bangladesh has been treated as free, fair and neutral election by the people of Bangladesh from all walks of life. All local and foreign Election Monitoring/Observing organizations greeted the fair election.
Best example is the Economist itself.
Though it predicted that AL won’t win but after election it wrote:
“It went better than anybody dared hoped. On December 29th Bangladesh held its first general election for seven years. It was well attended, with 70% turn-out, well organized, largely peaceful and despite some vote buying and other malpractices, far cleaner than its predecessors.”
30-December-2008, The Economist.
War Crime Criminal
Our more than 3-million innocent people, minorities and freedom fighters were killed/murdered/raped in the Liberation War of Bangladesh (1971). It’s the long cherished desire of our majority people to punish those war criminals. A nation can not bear the liability of demanded justice. Punishment of the war criminal is nothing new in the world. Above all, it was mentioned in AL’s election manifesto to ensure justice for Crime against humanity. An International War Crime Tribunal has been formed. All arrested criminals in this regards are unanimously known as war criminals.
About Bangabandhu : The severity of the biased report:
They dared to question on principles of Bangabandhu, his portrait even on Liberation war.
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman is not just a name. He is founder of Bangladesh. Bangabandhu means Bangladesh. He had sacrificed his whole life for our people, for our freedom. Despite the consequences that BBC termed Bangabandhu as “The greatest Bengali of the millennium” (also quoted in 30-12-08 report in Economist), the father of the nation Bangabandhu is and will be immortal in the heart of our people.
Dr. Yunus issue:
Its Sheikh Hasina who recommended first to approved govt. loan for Dr. Yunus’ Grameen Bank in 1996. Yunus initiated to do something for the poor. But in fact we came to know his promotional video on micro-credit is an well-acted drama. Poor’s are only the source of money. Their effective interest rate is about 40%. Some were cheated, he used the fund for poor in commercial sector though it was entitled to distribute for micro-credit only. A Nobel laureate is not above law. He violated our banking rules; his post was not approved by Central Bank (for 10 years).
Why The Economist published any report on journalist Tom Hennyman who unleashed a video documentary of many secrets? Why they didn’t gave him coverage when Norwegian state television questioned about Yunus’ transparency and misuse of donated fund? It’s a game with the poor. But we have no media for the poor. We can’t hear their cry.
Yunus matter could have been settled but he took it to the court. Sheikh Hasina never try to influence judicial system.
It’s very interesting that they have expressed soft corner for China in Bangladesh related reports whereas China is also misrepresented by Economist. The Economist employs a striking double standard regarding their reports. Bangladesh-India relationship is time-tested. We are grateful to them for their support in our Liberation war. But it doesn’t mean Bangladesh or India would have the benefit of anything against national interest. Chitmohol (enclave) is a unsettled issue and those inhabitants are living inhuman life. Other Govt. didn’t solve it only for political interest. Now its in a position of settlement and area of Bangladesh will be increased.
Nepal and Bhutan and other SAARC countries are willing to establish a road-transit with Bangladesh. It will help in our economic development also. It’s not possible without Asian-Highway to connect with India and subsequently Nepal, Bhutan.
Border killing happens due to smuggling. The smugglers use the poor to carry products and the poor do it only for some money to live hand-to-mouth. Most importantly all locally elected leaders of border area are of BNP and they have a tie to the smugglers.
All these issues/matters are known to the journalists or relevant people. They don’t voice for it whether for political interest or any other influence.
We don’t believe that lies will become mottos if they are repeated a thousand times. We found characteristics of the reports as ignorance about Bangladesh, lack of awareness about facts, flawed information, blunder, incorrect, dangerously misleading and impractical. If Economists continue presumptuous contents in the magazine that flouts basic standards of accuracy, balance and fair play, for the purported news reports The Economists must be highlighted as the most biased International media.
As they failed to endorse proper information on political issues and because of the inherent liberal culture of as a reputed international media we urge The Economist authority to apologize for its reports on Bangladesh.