Ranjona Banerji: Does Kejriwal hog the media? Duh!

16 Oct,2012

By Ranjona Banerji


On Monday night, Sagorika Ghose’s Face the Nation on CNN-IBN examined whether the media had given too much attention to Arvind Kejriwal. As young people say: “Duh?”! There is little doubt that Kejriwal’s attempts to form a little political party would not have lasted 10 minutes if he wasn’t always surrounded by TV cameras. Therefore, correctly, CNN-IBN should have distinguished between print and television but one suspects that in the omnipotent universe of television, print journalism barely exists.


The guests included Madhu Trehan of Newslaundry.com, Nandini Rao, lawyer, Anjali Bhardwaj, RTI activist and Anjali Damania, India Against Corruption member. Trehan initially played the role of a spokesperson for the India Today group (a family concern), Rao was from the outset (and not onset as one TV reporter kept saying outside Salman Khurshid’s house on Sunday!) quite clear that the media was only interested in corruption because it pandered to its middle class viewership. She made the vital point that the media did not offer 24/7 coverage to the protest by women activists against the high incidence of rapes held at Rohtak. Bhardwaj also said that the India Against Corruption was within its rights to use the media but the group’s attempts to bypass or destroy institutions was questionable. Trehan very pointedly put the question back to Ghose – why was television giving Kejriwal 24/7 coverage – which Ghose deftly deflected!


In a salute to the TV serial Two and a Half Men, one might say this “31” coverage (24+7) is Kejriwal’s lifeline.




Arnab Goswami on Times Now was furiously angry at Union steel minister Beni Prasad Verma’s patently silly remark about Rs 71 lakh being too small a figure to accuse Salman Khurshid of embezzling – or words to that effect. Verma is known for making somewhat politically incorrect remarks and if the media goes into apoplexies of rage with every foolish comment, people will soon stop talking and the reading and viewing public would be the biggest loser. Verma’s comment was ridiculous but did not require a rigorous 10 minute cross-examination.




It was interesting to see Deepak Sharma, Aaj Tak reporter, on Rajdeep Sardesai’s programme on CNN-IBN. He was nowhere near as belligerent or as aggressive as he had been at Salman Khurshid’s press conference. Quite polite in fact.




Press Council of India chairman Markandey Katju has been quiet for a while. But on Tuesday, he has asked the National Broadcasting Standards Association to look into the Aaj Tak and Headlines Today’s investigation into the Dr Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust, saying that TV journalists did not always do “proper investigation” for their stories.


In The Times of India, Katju’s edit page article takes on divisive politicians like Raj Thackeray.


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2 responses to “Ranjona Banerji: Does Kejriwal hog the media? Duh!”

  1. Himanshu Agarwal says:

    Typo in the headline…

    It is Kejriwal and not Kejiwal…please rectify