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"Europe, West being fed negative stories about India": Top editor with UK daily

New Delhi: Shedding light into what he claimed were prevailing 'misconceptions' surrounding India in the West, Sam Stevenson, the assistant editor of the UK-based newspaper, Daily Express, said Europe and the West are 'inundated' with 'unfavourable narratives' about India, primarily propagated by the media.
"Unfortunately, the perceptions of India across Europe and the West are not good. And this is because we are being fed negative stories from the press," Stevenson said, pointing to the 'detrimental' impact of 'biased reporting' on public opinion.
In a candid assessment of the perception of India in the Western world, Stevenson told ANI expanded on the prevalence of negative narratives fuelled by media coverage.
Stevenson, who recently visited India, emphasised the importance of firsthand experiences in understanding the country's reality, saying, "People need to come here, see it with their own eyes, live it, breathe it, meet the people, speak to people on the ground, and you will be seeing that new India, global Britain, we can be a force for good."
While advocating for a more nuanced approach to reporting, he also weighed in on the portrayal of religious dynamics in India, calling out the 'simplistic narratives' perpetuated by the media. "The British media are attempting to simplify something that's very complicated. They're saying (PM) Modi is anti-Islam. But actually, when you get on the ground and you speak to real Muslims, when you speak to Hindus, Sikhs, you will see that India is accepting of all cultures or religions. And that is the absolutely fantastic thing about this place," he said, underscoring the country's rich diversity and inclusivity.
Stevenson, who was in India recently to cover the ongoing general elections, also stressed the need to portray a more accurate picture of the country, saying, "It's time to start telling the positive stories of new India, of this great nation on its epic trajectory to becoming a USD 5 trillion economy in the future."
He also advocated shifting the prevalent narrative towards highlighting India's successes and potential.
Amid the pushback in the power corridors of the country against 'biased reporting' in a section of the Western media, Stevenson underscored the responsibility of the media in presenting a comprehensive and accurate portrayal of India. "It's time to say enough with the India bashing. Down with the anti-India 'Bakwas'. We need to come here and tell the true, positive stories of new India," he said, advocating a more informed and nuanced understanding of the country's complexities.
Expressing dismay over the prevailing narrative around alleged divisions on grounds of religion in India, Stevenson challenged these notions citing his firsthand experiences. "We're hearing things like religious divisions, but that's not what we've witnessed on the ground," he said, citing the communal harmony on show at the campaign rallies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Stevenson vowed to challenge existing narratives and bring forth the "reality of India's pluralistic society". "We're here to level up the British media's coverage of this nation. And we're here to get to the truth and find some real facts and bring them home to London," he signed off saying, underscoring his commitment to journalistic integrity and factual reporting.

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