1 Minute View: Can TV do it better in crises

21 Jun,2013

It’s around five years since the terrorists struck Mumbai, but we have still not heard the last on the coverage by news television channels of the siege.

 

Crises in the form of man-made and natural disasters, and the kind at Uttarakhand which is a combination of both are extraordinary situations. Since each of them comes unannounced and possibly hasn’t happened before, it’s a first for the journalist too. Just as it’s for the disaster-relief personnel and the administrative authorities.

 

But like we don’t expect the powers that be to throw up their hands up and say they were ignorant since it’s never happened before, we don’t want journalists to come up with a similar excuse.

 

It’s important that media TV newsrooms go through the drill of how emergencies are going to be handled. And what is it that it takes to offer balance coverage.

 

What happened at Uttarakhand was unfortunate. What’s happened on news television was sad. We have had an avalanche of screaming and shouting on the nightly news. Read our Editor-at-Large Anil Thakraney’s comment at:

http://www.mxmindia.com/2013/06/anil-thakraney-uttarakhand-disaster-tv-anchors-screw-up-yet-again/

 

The News TV folk know well enough that Big Brother in the form of I&B Minister Manish Tewari is watching.  Let’s not be surprised if he uses the R-word yet again (R for Regulation).

 

Before that happens, it’s vital to take remedial action.

 

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