Asian News International (ANI) is one of the most prominent agencies which provides multimedia news to about 50 bureaus in India and most of South Asia. It is widely trusted and highly cited. However, there have been instances when ANI misreported on few instances and which was picked up by various publications and was posted without due verification. The Logical Indian too fell for some of this, however, after some of our community members pointed out inconsistencies, we investigated and made the necessary changes at the eleventh hour.
1) False Report of Arjuna awardee selling Kulfi To pay debts
Recently, the sorry plight of national level boxing champion Dinesh Kumar who was forced to sell kulfi to clear debts started doing the rounds. However, ANI initially reported that Arjuna awardee and Asian games winner Dinesh Kumar was forced to sell kulfi.
An investigation by The Logical Indian revealed that two boxing champions were confused with each other. To give the benefit of the doubt, both Dinesh Kumar have similar stories. Both are international players, both suffered injury albeit in different years. ANI then posted a correction.
This incorrect information is still carried by publications like DNA, The Hindu, and HuffPost India.
Here are few more instances:
2) BJP spokesperson shown as a witness in Amritsar train tragedy
Dussehra celebration held dangerously close to railway tracks in Amritsar proved fatal after over 60 people were mowed down by a train. While the kins of the deceased were still reeling under the massive grief, the authorities and common people alike started the blame game. During that time, ANI quoted a “witness” blaming Congress for organising the event without due permission. Further adding that chief guest Navjot Kaur Sidhu continued her speech even as the people were being struck down by train.
ANI later posted a correction saying that the witness was, in fact, BJP spokesperson Rajesh Honey who was not even present at the event during the incident but reached 20 minutes later.
Notably, the incorrect information was retweeted over 5,500 times, however, the correction was retweeted only over 540 times.
3) Uttarakhand govt to charge passengers for rescue operations
In July this year, there was a massive hullabaloo around the Uttarakhand government charging money from those stranded in a disaster situation for the rescue operation. Many criticised the state government for this “insensitive” decision. Many publications carried this story. ANI had misreported at that time.
Later, ANI posted that the state government revoked the decision to charge passengers during a disaster.
CM Trivendra Singh Rawat posted that there was no such order in the first place to be revoked.
4) Incorrect photo of a martyred soldier
In June this year, an Indian Army soldier from Jammu and Kashmir was killed by terrorists while he was on his way to his home for Eid celebrations. However, the image which was shared by ANI, which was subsequently picked up by several publications was that of another martyred soldier Naik Deepak Nainwal.
ANI later issued a correction.
The fact that the two ‘jawans’ looked very similar to each other possibly gave birth to this misinformation. The Logical Indian too fell prey to it, only to realise it minutes before the article was published.
The Logical Indian take
It may be noted that ANI is not a publication or a news website, but a news agency. However, most of the news platforms pick up stories from ANI itself. This means that even a small error gets propagated wide and far. Also from past instances, one can conclude that in cases like these the correction is not as widely shared as the main news. It is hence very important for ANI to keep their reportage error-free. It is also important for publications to verify the news before publishing.
Also Read: Fact Check: From Mandsaur Gangrape To Maharashtra’s Mob Attack: Three Instances Where Fake News Went Viral