Ranjona Banerji: News on TV is not necessarily news in the papers

14 Sep,2012

By Ranjona Banerji


The gulf between newspaper-land and TV-land is as wide as between this solar system and some other, in a place where one must boldly go where no one has gone before. Every night you think the end of the world is imminent as strife, rage and anger rule and eminent Indians are forced to spend the last few hours screeching at each other. And then you open your newspaper in the morning, have sip of your tea or coffee or hot water with a squeeze of lime and there well be horrible things happening in the world but the sun is shining (or rain falling) and birds are chirping, even if they are crows in urban areas. The sky has not been fractured by a rift in time and space and there are no alien spacecraft hanging over our heads.


The reason for this long description is quite simple – I decided to watch Dr Who on BBC Entertainment instead of one more night watching warring armies clash by night!
In the newspapers, therefore, life has moved beyond CAG and coal. The mysterious letters which Arnab Goswami keeps brandishing have not re-appeared in any newspaper as yet. The diesel price hike and the capping of the amount of LPG cylinders has moved from the outrage of middle classes on TV to the importance of reducing subsidies in order to deal with the nation’s fiscal problems. Obviously, industry is happy but populism is not. The media is sometimes on the side of populism and sometimes against but no one speaks for the outraged middle classes more than TV.


I take that back. No one speaks for outrage more than Twitter. All day, people rant and rave over just about everything. One can only hope that it helps them hive off the stress in their non-cyber lives!




Surjit Bhalla in the Indian Express continues to take on CAG on the coal allocations. This week he also targets well-meaning liberals who have decided that anything that is against the government is therefore correct. It’s a bold view to take, in light of the general anger against this government and the mind-boggling enormity of the CAG’s calculations.




In between watching Masterchef Australia on Star World, when I went to visit Arnab Goswami on Times Now, he was demurring that he wasn’t in fact the most powerful and influential Indian, with a shy smile. Nowadays, if you’ve noticed, no one calls him “Rajdeep” by mistake any more. Everyone knows better.




Is it a mystery why the same guests who are usually obstreperous TV are much better behaved when they are on Karan Thapar’s Last Word on CNN-IBN? I think they know he is sterner and tougher and can out-shout them. Perhaps nothing frightens a badly-behaved guest than a stronger rival?




And lastly, has Meenakshi Lekhi succeeded Nirmala Seetharaman as the BJP’s main female TV voice? I even think I miss Seetharaman…


Post a Comment 

One response to “Ranjona Banerji: News on TV is not necessarily news in the papers”

  1. Sagar Patel says:

    Rightly stated the difference between the news in the TV
    and the news in the paper. Every medium these days have their own news going
    on, rather than speaking about a common news in all the medium. Twitter is on
    with its latest ongoings on a daily basis where people share their personal
    feedback, their anger, their support, etc on a very large basis. TVs and news
    papers these days have their own topics going on. So we can expect a very large
    and diverse, yet latest news buzzing around over different mediums, making a
    common man aware of every update that is possible around the world.


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