English channels slipped on Kejriwal attack

19 Oct,2011

By Ranjona Banerji

Tuesday evening demonstrated just how far Indian television has to go when it comes to simple reporting. Around 6 pm, Arvind Kejriwal, key member of Team Anna, has a slipper thrown at him at a rally in Lucknow. The English news channels had to borrow the feed from others, fair enough. But instead of concentrating on what exactly happened – there was evident confusion at the site – they promptly started asking other members of Team Anna for their views. The Team members were as clueless as the poor viewers, since we were not told exactly what was going on. Switching to Hindi channels was a major relief since they decided on reporting first and comment later.

Of course, it was not till the morning papers arrived that we had a clear picture. The who, what, why was set down in print and the comment was minimal. Also, having teased us with running text about cracks in Team Anna, the channels got carried away by the slipper-throwing and forgot all about that.

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BS Yeddyurappa got the full scorn of the media as he rushed from hospital to hospital to avoid stepping into a prison cell. This is hardly surprising and it is interesting to see eminent panellists openly laughing at the antics of our high-up-theres. Either the channels have got tired of our permanently outraged usual “experts” or someone in the dial-an-expert department is looking for variety. I never heard Mohandas Pai say a word in the Times Now discussion on the former Karnataka chief minister’s health problems but he laughed constantly. Renuka Choudhury was her usual acerbic self.

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The Occupy Wall Street movement is now getting good coverage in Indian newspapers and the business and corporate community in India is also responding. Of course that could be fear that they will feel a similar backlash. Ever ones to take responsibility, several felt that graft was a bigger problem that corporate greed in India. Yeah sure.

 

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Publicity for the upcoming Formula 1 race in Delhi is one full swing and newspapers and TV channels tripped over themselves to show us exactly the same stuff as “exclusive”. Let’s watch a bit to see if F1 will overtake cricket in this country.

 

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Brand Equity on Wednesday carried an interesting article on the new Levis (Go forth) and Nokia (Epic Dramas) ads, which look at the problems of being young with an edgy feel to them.

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The news that the Maharashtra state Election Commission will be tracking paid news for the upcoming elections might serve a warning to media houses that they are being watched. Which in this instance is not a bad thing.

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