The brouhaha over the Washington Post‘s takedown last week of Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh (left) is still running hot, with the Indian opposition claiming the prime minister is using the story to silence the reporters. Here, though, we’re left to wonder about the story’s author, Post India bureau chief Simon Denyer, and the hefty correction he landed.
Denyer earned his correction for paraphrasing quotes, without credit, that were previously published in a profile of Singh that ran in Indian magazine The Caravan. For his part, Denyer says that the two people he “quoted” in the story OKed the paraphrasing after he interviewed them, an unusual journalistic practice for American papers led one Indian website to compare the reporter to fellow Postie Fareed Zakaria.
Vinod K. Jose, the author of The Caravan‘s profile, thinks that the Post acted wrongly when it lifted information from his story without credit. “When Indian bloggers found out about this, and Post realised that it misbehaved, it only seems appropriate for the Post to have acknowledged their original source and credited Caravan in their correction,” Jose writes in an email.
Jose’s a pretty understanding guy, given the circumstances. Meanwhile, the dust-up over Denyer’s article has inspired a farcical poem called “The WaPo Gestapo.” Play us out, Hindustan Times: “It’s not the CIA, or indeed the Gestapo/the PM is troubled by Time and WaPo.”
Manmohan Singh photo by Shutterstock