[MxM Journalism Review] Why must TV news depend on print eds for analyses

07 Mar,2012

By Ranjona Banerji


Where would TV journalists be without their colleagues in print? (I thought I’d say cousins but then that would make me related to TVwallahs too so…) Every time there’s some big issue to discuss (which in TV land is every day), out come a whole array of print seniors (and sometimes not so seniors).


During the election coverage on Tuesday we had Shekhar Gupta, Vinod Mehta, Neerja Chowdhury, Manini Chatterjee, Siddharth Vardarajan, Vandita Mishra, Hartosh Singh Bal… and many more worthies.


I’m thrilled for my friends and colleagues in print who I see on TV all the while at other times – Ayaz Memon, Sidharth Bhatia, Anil Dharker, Arati Jerath… At any time you are likely to see Dileep Padgaonkar, Bachi Karkaria, Tavleen Singh giving their considered opinion on this and that. The list is endless and I apologise to anyone I have left out. I don’t mean it. But it makes me wonder about our esteemed TV anchors and editors. Do they trust their own judgement so little that they cannot carry a programme by themselves? Have they not managed to hone their opinion creating abilities? And if that’s true, what have they been doing for all these years in TV?


TV wallahs often feel that print journalists are too critical of them. But when they do nothing to change those perceptions and instead feed them by calling print journalists as experts all the while? How often do you see print journalists on BBC and CNN?
My advice to TV wallahs is: have a little faith in yourselves.


Having said that, I then remember the columns which Rajdeep Sardesai, Sagorika Ghosh and Barkha Dutt write for Hindustan Times (since few other print publications condescend to give them a platform and rightly so) and I really wonder at myself!


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