Benazir Bhutto’s assassination

 The dastardly assassination of Benazir Bhutto is a cruel blow to Pakistan’s slow and difficult progress towards democracy. All citizens in India who hoped to see a new era in the subcontinent under a democratising Pakistan in 2008, with closer ties to India and its people, will feel deep pain at the turn of events.

The politics of assassination, which some countries tacitly sanction, destabilises the world, nullifies economic progress and leaves it poorer with the wiping away of democratic leaders. The agony of Pakistan will hopefully galvanise democratic forces everywhere, and in the subcontinent in particular, and expose the forces of doublespeak.

The online coverage of Benazir Bhutto’s shocking assassination is worth a close look. In the minutes after the story broke, millions of netizens must have scoured the most popular news sites.

What Google told visitors

But Google seemed to take its own time to put out the story that the former Pakistan Prime Minister had been assassinated.

Yahoo! got it right faster

Yahoo’s page had it straight and simple. The experience seems to show that ‘untouched by hand’ may be good prevent contamination of food, but when it comes to news, the absence of editorial supervision and involvement can produce less than optimal results. This should come as confirmation to many editors the world over that they are indeed indispensable, and give the “automation” group something to think about.

When the Google News page was refreshed after making the Yahoo! screenshot, it still spoke in doubtful terms about Bhutto’s condition.

  •  Some pictures from Benazir’s life have been published by The Hindu online today and tomorrow’s print edition will have many more, with tributes and world reactions. The BBC carried a tribute.
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