In this excellent piece in Newslaundry, titled “Dhulagarh Riots: Why did Bengal media ignore it?”, Deepanjana Pal writes:
For approximately four hours, Dhulagarh burned. Shops were set on fire in the local bazaar and looted. The mob attacked homes, looting them and lobbing bombs – crude contraptions that are far more dangerous cousins of the pataka – at them. Eye witnesses say Hindu households were targeted. “You have to understand, everyone knows everyone in places that are this small,” said one reporter. “Hindus and Muslims live in separate neighbourhoods, but together. So when this happened, some of them recognised those who were attacking them and when they didn’t recognise them, they knew these were outsiders.” One temple was attacked and its idol – of Kali, the goddess best known for her all-destroying rage – was broken. There are reports of Hindu families having fled to neighbouring villages.
All this violence took place in broad daylight. In the videos that have been circulated, no one is seen wearing masks. It’s all out in the open and witnessed by locals who tried to get in touch with journalists. From the videos and photographs that were shared, it almost seems like the locals did the actual on-ground reporting. They were desperate to talk and be heard. Unfortunately, few listened and Dhulagarh was barely mentioned in mainstream Bengali news. (emphasis mine)
“What we were told was that since this is a communal issue, we should approach it cautiously and underplay it so that things don’t flare up,” said one journalist.
So the excuse being offered is that because reporting a communal incident might provoke other communal incidents, mediamen refuse to cover communal flareups.
The only problem with this is simply this.
It is not true.