July 11, 2016
ISLAMABAD - Geo Television Monday responded to criticism after leaked footage of a small distraught boy whose mother died was seen being pressed by a reporter to talk to her on the phone, went viral on social media.
Geo said on its website geo.tv the reporter involved was an intern who tried to pacify the boy consistently. "We feel that during this positive effort she went overboard due to her lack of experience and training and used words and gestures which should have been replaced by better ones."
The website said that Geo editorial committee had conducted a detailed investigation into the matter. It said: "an anonymous post showcasing leaked footage of an internee reporter's interview with a child at a children's home claims that a Geo reporter tried to make the child cry and was abusive in the name of trying to benefit from the tragedy of his deceased mother.
Geo further said in its clarification that the newsroom received a tip that a child had been brought to Edhi home and needed help locating his mother. "With that intention, the package was assigned."
The report featuring the intern was aired on May 31 in the midnight bulletin. "The package ran only once and its duration was less than two minutes, and hardly few seconds were aired from the leaked footage.
"We also confirmed from original footage, Cameramen and Video Editor as well as staff at the children center that the child was already distraught and our intern reporter tried to pacify him consistently.
"The internship expired naturally and the said internee is no longer associated with Geo News," it was clarified.
"Geo editorial committee has recommended a further review of the internship program to ensure Geo Asool are implemented properly."
Pakistan Observer, October 31, 2016