Ranjona Banerji: Times Now = Alternative government on Pakistan?

06 Jul,2012

Ranjona Banerji

By Ranjona Banerji


There is a need perhaps for news channels to rethink their positions as far as prime time studio discussions are concerned. One might be so bold as to suggest that they are running out of steam. Sadly, not everyday brings up a topic so incendiary that the nation’s hackles rise one way or another and as has happened over the past few weeks. If panel discussions (debates, fights, yelling matches, whatever you want to call them) are about subjects like India’s team selection for the World T20 Championships (NDTV) or one more interminable inquiry into Air India (Times Now), then who’s really watching?


Times Now however seems to be setting itself up as an alternative government when it comes to Pakistan. Night after night it badgers various Pakistanis (not members of the government) and tries to get them to confess that Pakistan is sponsoring terrorism in India. There appears to be some sort of strange naivete at play here. No one in India doubts Pakistan’s involvement. But it is hard to imagine that this kind of TV assault is going to make the situation any better.


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Are newspapers alive or dead? Two takes on the debate are in the links pasted below. Well, the first is certain that death is imminent. The second is one of those “India rah rah” stories which foreign news agencies alternate with ‘India boo hoo” stories. Sadly, the reasons given in these links on why newspapers are dying are as pedestrians as the reasons why newspapers in India are booming.


I have another take: news is not dying. Conventional methods of dispersal are. Any other ideas?






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Senior journalist Sevanti Ninan of The Hoot writes a scathing piece in Mint on the collapse of newsgathering in newsrooms and the replacement of reporting with hectoring on TV channels. She also lifts the lid of newsroom practices and the ruthless retrenchment policies followed by newspaper managements.




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Meanwhile excerpts from veteran journalist Kuldip Nayyar’s autobiography show the former editor to be in vicious form as he eviscerates former colleagues young and old. There is lesson here: refuse a former editor a column or suddenly cancel the column and you will pay the price later by being exposed in print.


The link is from the blog sans serif: http://wearethebest.wordpress.com/2012/07/05/kuldip-nayar-on-shekhar-gupta-n-ram-co/


Read and enjoy. And may there be a lesson for all those who have refused to give this writer columns…


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