The Anchor: How 24×7 TV would cover Babri Masjid demolition today

06 Dec,2012

By A N Chorrea


The attempt is not to make light of what happened at the Babri Masjid structure on December 6, 1992 and what happened before and after the incident. But given the way 24×7 news is on television these days, the mind wonders what the coverage would’ve been like if the event had occurred 20 years hence and often wanders :


So in the style of a a stand-up act, here we go with eight of the several news channels we have beaming to the country:

Times Now: Arnab Goswami has a 24-hour coverage of the event and a floating 24-member panel. People from across the world are connected and he says for the first time “our” channel is bringing such live footage… cecause India wants to know. Before the discussion starts, Arnab talks for some seven minutes on the incident and tell us how “our” channel is the only channel with six cameras at the place of action. Among the panelists: Lord Meghnad Desai, Shobhaa De, Vinod Mehta, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Suhel Seth, Mohandas Pai


NDTV 24×7: The channel’s most bankable faces are on the job. Barkha Dutt embeds herself in special helicopter with P Chidambaram (yes, we know he’s no longer Home Minister, but still has a say in most matters) and Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde. Get ready for the inside dope as a makeshift studio is made with the structure as the backdrop. Among the panelists: Vinod Mehta, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Brinda Karat, Ramchandra Guha, Mani Shankar Aiyer, Swapan Dasgupta


CNN-IBN: A dismayed Rajdeep Sardesai and Bhupendra Chaubey evaluate the impact on the society and polity. In between the discussion, he keeps asking for calm in the country… being the unofficial conscience-keeper of news television. A discussion follows on how the media treated the coverage. Among the panelists: Yogendra Yadav, Vinod Mehta, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Swapan Dasgupta, Ramchandra Guha, Mani Shankar Aiyer


Headlines Today: Rahul Kanwal leads the discussion, enraged. The panel goes on about whether the event could’ve been avoided. The discussion takes a break with Kanwal’s exclusive interview with the Vishwa Hindu Parishad chief.


Aaj Tak: The channel airs an interview with one of the actors of a movie it is associated with. Later, a discussion follows on the issue with a large panel: Uma Bharati, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Lalu Prasad Yadav, Mahesh Bhatt and the UP Chief Minister.


ABP News: Deepak Chauraisa leads the discussion, and as always give you a feeling that he’s on top of the news… he knew it all. Tough questions asked with panelists: Ravi Shankar Prasad, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Mani Shankar Aiyer and the UP Chief Secretary and the Collector of the Area.


IndiaTV: High decibel relay of story. There are interviews with people who have bought bricks from far and wide. Plus an exclusive telephonic interview with the person who was the first to go up the structure



DD News: The President is travelling to the North East for the first time and there is a four-minute report on the event, followed by the release of a postage stamp of well-known actor Rajesh Khanna. Before the news is summed, the anchor tells us about what happened at Ayodhya. Not surprisingly, in the two minutes we get more information of what the status is on the ground than most of the private news channels.


AN Chorrea is a senior industryperson writing under a pseudonym


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