Thursday, May 14, 2009

The dying breed of Television journalist

Mahesh Vijapurkar, former Deputy Editor of The Hindu wrote a brilliant article; hit the bull's eye with his piece.
The anchor, anyway, is going to have the last word because it is his show. The talking heads alias the spokespersons are merely actors of the moment, seeking to drive the network's TRPs.
While his article was focused on the spokespersons of various political parties, i saw a well-deserved criticism on Television anchors. I have long stopped watching TV channels like CNN-IBN and Headlines Today as they engage in sensationalism.

NDTV had been my favorite channels since my childhood. I remember the days when i used to awake late on weekends to catch, The World this Week by Prannoy and his team. How the mighty have fallen! I was watching a show hosted by Vikram Chandra (CEO of NDTV Networks and one of their main anchors  He was also one of my favorites) and was disgusted with the way he carried himself.

Rule no. 1 in journalism is to cover the News and not become the News themselves. And here was Vikram Chandra who was taking pot-shots at Varun Gandhi not once in a while, but every minute of the 40 minutes that i watched. Even Narendra Modi, who is treated by NDTV as Satan himself, did not get as much venom yesterday as Varun did. Varun Gandhi's name was incited & connected to everything on this good earth save Global Warming. Now, don't get me wrong here. I am not a fan of Varun Gandhi & haven't heard his hate-speech. But, isn't that for the courts to decide if he did something wrong. Who is Vikram to judge the actions of Varun Gandhi? Isn't he erring by his actions?

The curious case against Varun Gandhi isn't an exception in NDTV. It is the rule. God have mercy on you, if you fall in the bad books of Prannoy & team. They will indulge in character assasination and won't rest till they wreak the amount of havoc they have decided in punishment. Sad, that Prannoy, one of the best TV journalist India ever produced, has to resort to these unethical, cheap tricks in the name of TRPs. 

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