TV channels show ’07 Kuwait air crash video, pass off as Jamnagar collision
On December 8, 2007, during an air show in Kuwait, two choppers collided mid-air leading to the death of all on board. A live video of the event was uploaded on video sharing website YouTube and has been viewed by close to 25,000 people so far. Several news channels aired the same film passing it off as live footage of Thursday's mid-air collision of two Indian Air Force choppers in Jamnagar.
The wrong footage ran for close to 20 minutes on some news channels. It all began with a regional news channel, TV9 Gujarat, airing the Kuwaiti video ostensibly to explain to its viewers what the Jamanagar collision may have looked like.
"While we were still trying to source the original footage, our team, in a bid to explain to our viewers what the Jamnagar collision may have looked like, picked up this old footage and aired it with the disclaimer that it was a file footage (old video). Our anchor mentioned it in the commentary that it was an old video," said Kalpak Kekre, head of TV9 Gujarat. Kekre said that mainstream news channels that picked up the video may not have understood Gujarati and mistook it to be the live video of the Jamnagar collision.
The result was frantic reports of the mid-air collision accompanied with the incorrect video running across channels such as Times Now, Headlines Today, Aaj Tak, India News.
Times Now's Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami did not respond to a text message. Headlines Today's Managing Editor Rahul Kanwal refused to respond, saying: "As a company policy, journalists in our organisation do not respond to questions from other journalists."
India News's Managing Editor Vinod Kapri admitted that his channel aired the footage for about "four seconds". "The swaying palm trees in the background and choppers that didn't look like IAF MI helicopters made us suspect that it was a wrong footage. We took it off within four seconds and apologised for the error," said Kapri, adding that he immediately called a few other news channels apprising them of the error.
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