Monday, 20 April 2009

Life imitating art imitating life? Not quite.

From the BBC, this news item investigates a notorious tabloid's claim that the father of a girl who was a member of the amazingly talented crew of actors from Slumdog Millionaire agreed to sell his daughter to people who posed as a wealthy couple from Dubai.

Rafiq Qureshi said he had not accepted a deal to sell nine-year-old Rubina Ali into adoption.

The News of the World said Mr Qureshi had demanded £200,000 from its reporters, who were posing as a wealthy family from Dubai looking to adopt.

Mr Qureshi told the BBC the media had "made fun of our poverty". "They tricked us into this fakery but we came out unscathed," said Rubina's father, who is a carpenter in Mumbai.

The News of the World is a UK tabloid whose writers take a very active hand in news-gathering. They were involved from the get-go in this sting operation for the purpose of securing a juicy story. In reality those who mainly profited from the exploitation of Rubina Ali in this alleged negociation would be the publishers of The News of The World, from the tabloid sales their version of the story generated. Nouveau colonialism, as it were.

1 comment:

brebisnoire said...

Thanks for addressing this, deBeauxOs - the story came up briefly on my yahoo service, I clicked on it, and it seemed very irregular. The story might have been juicy in a very short-term kind of way, but the journalism was so obviously wrong.
It reminded me of certain TV shows in Quebec that damage people's reputations, sometimes professionally, by very questionable means. It happened to a vet colleague of mine, whose clinic was repeatedly harassed by journalists until the techs finally just gave them what they wanted (some vaccines, without the vet seeing the animals). It was very embarrassing for him, but luckily the provincial Order didn't pursue any disciplinary measures.

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