Indian TV sacks newsreader over ‘Eleven Jinping’ blunder

Agence France-Presse
An Indian newscaster mistakes the visiting Chinese president's name for the Roman numeral XI, calling him "Eleven Jinping" on air

NEW DELHI, India – Pronouncing foreign leaders’ names is a headache for newsreaders the world over.

But on Friday, September 19, it proved the downfall of one Indian newscaster, who mistook the visiting Chinese president’s name for the Roman numeral XI, calling him “Eleven Jinping” on air.

The blunder occurred late Thursday night in a report by India’s public broadcaster Doordarshan on President Xi Jinping’s high-profile first state visit to India.

After hours of unconfirmed reports, Doordarshan announced Friday afternoon on its official Twitter handle that the anchor in question had been sacked but declined to name them.

“Please Take Note: DD (Doordarshan) News Anchor who mispronounced Chinese President’s name has been disengaged,” the public broadcaster wrote on the microblogging site.

Doordarshan chief executive Jawahar Sircar said that steps had been taken to avoid a repeat of such an incident.

“We’ve taken action plus (we are) upgrading systems,” Sircar tweeted. The broadcaster did not immediately return Agence France-Presse’s calls for comment.

Doordarshan, once the only choice for television viewers in India, has suffered a steep decline in influence since private television channels began airing in the early 1990s.

The blunder is an embarrassment for the government of India’s new Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who rolled out the red carpet for Xi, spending his 64th birthday hosting a dinner for the Chinese president in a luxury riverside tent in his home city Ahmedabad. –

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