Freaking News: One event, two interpretations

07 Nov,2011

By Ranjona Banerji


One event, two interpretations: Monday morning’s Times of India and Hindustan Times had two completely different interpretations of LK Advani’s rath yatra’s entry into Gujarat. TOI found in an empty chair between Advani and Gujarat CM Narendra Modi a symbol of the growing distance between the two leaders and described their interaction as cold. Advani apparently added to the distance by praising Modi’s bete noire, Bihar CM Nitish Kumar. Hindustan Times however perhaps read nothing into empty chairs and said that Advani and Modi put up a united front to turn the heat against the Congress.

Surprisingly, Headline Today, known for its slightly rightwing stance – No, Mr Katju, not all media outlets have identical reactions – also perceived a freeze in Advani-Modi relations.




Mamata Banerjee’s dramatic declaration – although her speech itself was very well-reasoned and delivered most matter-of-factly – of withdrawal of support to the UPA over the petrol price hike did not turn into a weekend drama. Mainly because the Congress barely responded and Banerjee herself said she would wait till the PM returned from his travels.

It was interesting that Times Now broadcast her whole speech which was in Bengali and took a good few minutes to get translations up. Perhaps we need to have a more instant translation technique given the languages listed in the Constitution or at least faster paraphrasing abilities.




The death of composer and singer Bhupen Hazarika received both airtime and newsprint space and more importantly, honour and respect. Perhaps this means that we in the media are not as shallow as we ourselves feel or are made out to be – Mr Katju please note.



Our Sunday papers felt the need to reconnect us with the “other India’ and we had special reports on our labour policies and how unfair they are to labourers, the problems of contractual workers as well as focus on our perennial health problems. Not sure if this was proving a point to Mr Katju or in fact, it was the Katju effect at work.




Mumbai’s law and order problems were highlighted once again as the spotlight remained on the deaths of Keenan and Reuben in a Mumbai suburb in October. Most say this as an opportunity to focus on similar problems elsewhere in the country as well as on the treatment of women on our streets.



The Hindustan Times has been running a series of accusations and counterpoints between Goa theatre veteran Hartman de Souza and Tehelka editor Tarun Tejpal which has now spilled over into cyber space. Tehelka has been holding a “Think Fest” in Goa and de Souza and others have accused the journal of having double standards when it comes to the issue of exposing the mining lobby in Goa. It is a fascinating series of accusations, some petty and some serious. This is one more example of how the media is looking more at itself as a “story” as well as how the internet has changed the game when it comes to public interaction.

Related Stories

  • No Related Stories Found
Post a Comment 

Comments are closed.

Today's Top Stories