Tribute to Shri T N Gopakumar, an outstanding journalist

Image result for T N Gopakumar, Photo

(Photo courtesy Youtube.com)

The untimely death of Shri T N Gopakumar, Editor- in- Chief of Asianet News shocked everyone. He was a role model to many young journalists. His colleagues have adequately described his contribution to the written and visual media.

I had an opportunity to interact with Shri Gopkumar briefly through correspondence on an important issue. This was with reference to a news item titled “Cancer behind 70% deaths in India’s atomic energy hubs”. Asianet published a video strip of this item as a YOUTUBE presentation. It was freely available.

While on a visit to Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences (AIMS), Kochi, to deliver a lecture, I gave an interview to Ms Revathi Rajeevan of the New Indian Express. I contested the points raised by ASIANET in the video strip. The daily published it promptly

I wrote to the ASIANET news team that the message carried by the video is incorrect. I gave the link to my interview.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that the web team directed the message to Ms Sindhu Soorya kumar, co-ordinating editor, ASINETNEWS, who contacted me within minutes of my sending the first message to the ASIANET web team. She acknowledged receipt of my message and promised appropriate follow up.

A section of the media has already carried the news. The Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) rebutted the news .This rebuttal was published by several news outlets.  The DAE web site and the Press Information Bureau have reproduced the rebuttal.

I requested Ms Sindhu Sooryakumar to take up the matter with the senior staff of ASIANET news and arrange to withdraw the video clip.

I pointed out that the incorrect message in the video has great potential to do infinite damage to our country’s atomic energy programme.

Shortly afterwards, I explained the background and sent a request to Shri Gopakumar arguing that retracting the message given by the video clip is appropriate and undoubtedly in public interest.

I invited his attention to the factual position published by The New Indian Express dated Oct 6. 2014 (I gave the following link to the interview to the ASIANET web team)

http://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/kochi/%E2%80%98Reports-on-Cancer-Deaths-Baseless%E2%80%99/2014/10/06/article2463562.ece

After a brief discussion he agreed to remove the video clip. ASIANET removed the clip shortly afterwards. He gave me time to discuss the issue and resolve it amicably. May his soul rest in peace.

“Kannadi”, the programme he anchored became very popular with Keralites everywhere. He highlighted the plight of individuals/families suffering from misfortunes of one type or other. Funds poured in from various sources particularly from overseas. Hundreds of deserving persons benefitted by his initiative.

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About ksparthasarathy

I am a former Secretary of the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board. I am a former Raja Ramanna Fellow in the Department of Atomic Energy. Free lance journalism is my hobby
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