Wednesday, May 17, 2006

CNN IBN now , NDTV later

Indian politics is now passing through a 'predictable phase' due to the remarkable accuracy of the exit polls during the recently concluded state election. It also saw the upstart channel CNN IBN emerging as a strong competitor to NDTV. It is ironic that his one-time protege Rajdeep beat the pasha of psephology Prannoy Roy in his own game.(Although Yogendra Yadav with his beautiful state of Bengal was pretty unbearable at times). But where CNN IBN scored was in the brilliant onground reporting by Sagarika Ghose ( daughter of ex DD honcho) . Her command over the language and the ability to remain as fresh as a daisy in the hustle bustle of political reporting was amazing. Barkha Dutt is surely passe now as the face of English news. Times Now can slowly be written off. One of their lead anchors is so brash and no better than a fisherwoman on a Virar local.
While I was flipping between CNN and NDTV, the bearded badshah of English news was very much in form, his calm and inquisitive tone with liberal doses of Eton polish still charming as ever. But somehow his one-time protege Rajdeep takes political reporting to a greater level, pulling punches and puns, raising the decibel levels when needed, showing excitement and energy on screen. Rajdeep loves politics and his style suits Indian politics whereas Roy's classy demeanour would suit topics like fiscal budgets and foreign policy. But in a way Prannoy Roy defined the news industry as it exists today in India and his talent selection record is impressive.
Through a programme called World this week in an obscure time slot of 10:30 pm on DD, the man showed us how the Salmas and Rinis of DD were good looking announcers and not news reporters. World this week with the amazing elegance of Roy was a cut above the rest. I remember staying awake longer than my normal doze time to catch this show. To a GK enthusiast like me that show was probably the only window to the world( though that was also a time when newspapers covered more than page 3). The unmistakable tabla sound and the graphics showing NDTV as lines is still alive in my memory. That alongwith Sidharth Basu's quizzes set the intellectual standard. After that came his election and budget specials on DD.
I believe the BJP victory in 1996 was to a large extent due to their leverage of media. All their politicians were extremely camera friendly , ruled the debates and had the best quotes. The pregnant poetic pause of Atal , straight talk of Advani, the studied response of Jaswant and the young turks Pramod Mahajan, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley. Look how the BJPs fortunes changed once Venkaih Naidu started dominating media events with his Udipi hotel owner style retorts.
But lets not forget , English news hardly figures in the ratings. The masses love the Sansani, pardafaash and what not of the Hindi channels. But to be fair to Hindi channels, their technical finesse is almost as good as the English ones. But their anchorsespecially the ones of Star News are merely props and do not actually know much about politics or what they report. And most viwers of English news would watch election analysis rather than vote. Amen


At 10:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

thankk u

At 10:36 AM, Blogger Anusha said...

Brilliant synopsis of events..

At 11:31 AM, Blogger Kaps said...

isn't sagarika ghose getting prominence bcoz she happens to be rajdeep's wife?

At 9:29 PM, Blogger :-) said...

you must be an insider :-)

I too used to stay awake for 'world this week'.

Nice read.

At 9:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Liked and agree with the whole article except for the bit about Sagarika - where I disagree. I think she's unbearable. She just doesnt know how to conduct debates and I just have to change the channel and watch something else to wait for her to go away and then come back.The others from the channel are good as well. One other thing - CNN IBN's website is good as well.

At 7:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

boycott cnn-ibn

At 12:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

very nice read...sagarika ghose actually does a good job as an on-ground correspondent. but that's abt smone said, she can't conduct debates/ anchor shows. The fact that she's sardesai's wife is new...that explains all the mileage she's getting.


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