Monday, September 28, 2020
Home Media It's time to stop blaming Arnab Goswami and analyse how the pioneers of TV...

It’s time to stop blaming Arnab Goswami and analyse how the pioneers of TV media have contributed to this fall

I don’t watch English news anymore. In fact, haven’t watched any channel for many years. I am not a fan of loud debates. I am not a fan of Arnab Goswami, just like I am no more a fan of Rajdeep and Prannoy. I have written against their style of coverage extensively, even rejecting an invite for a “debate” on NDTV back in 2012

The current obsession of the English and Hindi TV media is the Sushant Singh Rajput case. Thousands and thousands of hours’ worth of content has been aired over the past couple of months.  Reams and reams of content have been written on how a massive waste of time these thousands and thousands of hours’ have been! And most of this written content has one underlying theme – It is Arnab Goswami who is responsible for the fall of the English TV media! With Arnab now overtaking Aaj Tak to become the most-watched Hindi news channels too, the attacks have only sharpened and increased. 

My mind immediately went back to something I wrote way back in 2012. Past few years, we have seen many memes that make jokes on how there -10 panellists on the TV screen shouting over each other. More often than not, meme makers have focused on Arnab’s shows only. Well, here is a snapshot from the year 2011. 

Is Arnab Goswami only to be blamed for the fall of TV News
Figure 1: Snapshot of a debate on CNN-IBN from the year 2011

The snapshot is from then Sagarika Ghose’s show – “Face the Nation”. 8 people debating the Lokpal bill, and the debate ends in 20 minutes! The anchor isn’t in the picture so that actually makes it 9 people debating the Lokpal bill for a whopping 20 minutes. The Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha discussed this bill for about 12-13 hours each! Make as many memes as you want; make as many jokes as you want – but it wasn’t Arnab who pioneered the art of filling up your TV screens with multiple people. That fault lies elsewhere!

We all have just seen how an anchor was chided for asking a panellist to focus on the topic (Sushant Singh) and not diver the topic (towards the GDP). There are examples galore can be cited on non-serious issues that have been aired by the media. So, what is the answer to the question on why aren’t seriously debated on prime time? For today, we go back all way to the year 2009. 

- Advertisement -

In May 2009, in an online chat, I asked Dr. Prannoy Roy: “What do you think the media has learned from this election?”. 

His full reply is in the snapshot below. The relevant line from his answer is this – “serious issues like hunger or unemployment do not come into focus because these are hard to sensationalise.

Is Arnab Goswami only to be blamed for the fall of TV News
Figure 2: Snapshot of an online chat with Dr. Prannoy Roy in the year 2009

Back in 2009, Dr Prannoy Roy was one of the most powerful media owners (perhaps the most powerful too!). NDTV was at their peak and was often the go-to channel for thousands of viewers. Some surveys even indicated that they had a 60% market share. NDTV’s anchors were involved in cabinet berth negotiations. And the words of the then most powerful media organization – “hunger or unemployment are hard to sensationalise”. 

Also, don’t miss this in his answer – “So media needs to learn to focus on real issues during campaigning“. And this was the year 2009. I don’t have to tell you, the smart viewer, how absolutely nothing changed from the year 2009. It only got worse with every passing year. So, make as many memes as you want; make as many jokes as you want – but it wasn’t Arnab who pioneered the art of filling up your TV screens with multiple people. That fault lies elsewhere! 

When Obama came to India in 2010, another sermonizer Bhupendra Chaubey gave us a very critical piece of news that redefined the political paradigm of our country – “Gursharan Kaur and Sonia Gandhi were wearing a similar colour saree, a sort of red colour”.  

In February 2012, the media conducted day-long debates on a Supreme Court Judgment. The biggest sermonizer of them all, Rajdeep Sardesai was at the forefront of conducting the debates the whole day. And he tweets late into the night that “Reading SC judgement on the way back from office.” And when questioned how he conducted debates the entire day without even reading the judgment, he replies “read the main points in the day. now reading the fine print. the devil often in the detail!”

Who amongst us can forget how Sagarika Ghose faked an entire interview with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar in the year 2011? Who amongst us can forget how she first tried to brazen it out and later issued a small apology on TV? What can be worse than faking an interview? What can be more damaging than cheating your viewers? 

There is no dearth of many such examples (dearth of coverage of important debates in Parliament, linking the sterling and pioneering discovery of Higgs Boson to Internet Hindus, falsely accusing people of murder etc). Prannoy Roy, Rajdeep Sardesai, Sagarika Ghose, Barkha Dutt – these were popular names during the times of the rise of the reach of English TV media. These were powerful names with clout in the corridors of power. At the peak of their power, each one of them has sermonized on what ails the very same media they are pioneers of! 

Journalism needs to rediscover its soul – Rajdeep Sardesai (2012). Rajdeep was disillusioned with journalism when he has owned a powerful media channel in 2012. After 2012, Rajdeep has gone on to get violent on the streets, conducted extremely ill-prepared interviews with senior politicians, announced the death of a former President of India while he was alive, got called out by many interviewees for his boorish nature and yet survives in the industry! 

I don’t watch English news anymore. In fact, haven’t watched any channel for many years. I am not a fan of loud debates. I am not a fan of Arnab Goswami, just like I am no more a fan of Rajdeep and Prannoy. I have written against their style of coverage extensively, even rejecting an invite for a “debate” on NDTV back in 2012! 

The chicanery, lies, agenda and incompetence of some big names in the TV media have been first exposed by ordinary people. They continue to be on the forefront to do so. So, make as many memes as you want; make as many jokes as you want – but it isn’t Arnab who is responsible for the situation in the TV media. Those who pioneered this fall must stop faking their concern and also stop sermonizing us. Because facts speak otherwise! 

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

S. Sudhir Kumar
Obsessive eater, Compulsive sleeper, Repulsive Writer

Related Articles

Trending now

Clashes erupt between Azerbaijan and Armenia over breakaway region Nagorno-Karabakh, world leaders concerned

The historical conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia over breakaway region Nagorno-Karabakh region dates back to 1921 when the Soviet Union forcibly merged the predominantly ethnic Armenian region with Azerbaijan.

“Have no regrets”, Balika Vadhu director takes on his father’s business of selling vegetables as upcoming film projects get stalled

The Balika Vadhu director Ram Vriksha Gaur has been selling vegetables in his hometown of Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh.

Columnist Sudheendra Kulkarni who used Jaswant Singh’s death to target Modi, had once insulted and left Singh in tears, senior journalist reveals

Sudheendra Kulkarni, who had extended support to Rahul Gandhi ahead of 2019 elections has been a very vocal Modi critic and Pakistan sympathiser.

PM Modi’s call for UN reforms should be the beginning of our resurgent foreign policy

India could look to pursue a seven-point agenda to play a bigger role in global affairs.

Madhya Pradesh: Special DG Purshottam Sharma brutally assaults his wife, video goes viral on social media

The accused's son has filed a complaint with the state DGP and has sent a copy of the assault video.

Arrested gangster Feroz Ali killed after UP Police car crashes on the way to Lucknow

UP's wanted Gangster Feroz Ali killed in road accident while being brought by police from Mumbai.

Recently Popular

AajTak ke camera se nahi bach payegi Deepika Padukone: As the actor makes her way to NCB, IndiaToday does everything they criticise Republic for

The Aaj Tak reporter added several non-essential information about Deepika Padukone to claim that the coverage was exclusive

Argentina: Legislator kisses bare breast of his girlfriend during online parliament session, resigns after the video goes viral

Juan Emilio Ameri claimed that he assumed that the camera was off and wanted to check out his girlfriend's new breast implants

“Your time of death has come”, radical Islamists attack actress-politician Nusrat Jahan on social media after she poses as Goddess Durga

An Instagram user, Sagar Hossain, questioned Nusrat Jahan, "Why do you support Hindus despite being a Muslim?"

Hours after expressing displeasure over new BJP team, Subramanian Swamy retweets report that hails Priyanka Gandhi

Snubbing the demand of Subramanian Swamy to remove BJP IT cell chief Amit Malviya, BJP had retained in the new party team

India Today editors’ tussle with Republic TV is ruining their own credibility, one tweet at a time: Read how

Rahul Kanwal and Rajdeep's sly, targeted tweets against Republic TV are only helping to take their own credibilities further down, and exposing their own hypocrisy.

Maharashtra: Close to Anil Deshmukh’s residence in Nagpur, gambling den operator lynched to death. Video goes viral

Maharashtra state home minister Anil Deshmukh's residence is barely 1 km away from where the stabbing took place.

‘If I want to burn my tractor, what problem do you have’: Punjab CM Amarinder Singh defends Youth Congress workers

Congress leaders have been opposing and spreading lies against the new agriculture laws.

Clashes erupt between Azerbaijan and Armenia over breakaway region Nagorno-Karabakh, world leaders concerned

The historical conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia over breakaway region Nagorno-Karabakh region dates back to 1921 when the Soviet Union forcibly merged the predominantly ethnic Armenian region with Azerbaijan.

MP Special DG caught beating his wife in viral video says what he did was ‘not a crime’, gets relieved of duties: Read the...

ADG, Madhya Pradesh, Purshottam Sharma has been relieved of his duties after a video of him beating his wife went viral on social media.

“Have no regrets”, Balika Vadhu director takes on his father’s business of selling vegetables as upcoming film projects get stalled

The Balika Vadhu director Ram Vriksha Gaur has been selling vegetables in his hometown of Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh.

Columnist Sudheendra Kulkarni who used Jaswant Singh’s death to target Modi, had once insulted and left Singh in tears, senior journalist reveals

Sudheendra Kulkarni, who had extended support to Rahul Gandhi ahead of 2019 elections has been a very vocal Modi critic and Pakistan sympathiser.

PM Modi’s call for UN reforms should be the beginning of our resurgent foreign policy

India could look to pursue a seven-point agenda to play a bigger role in global affairs.

Madhya Pradesh: Special DG Purshottam Sharma brutally assaults his wife, video goes viral on social media

The accused's son has filed a complaint with the state DGP and has sent a copy of the assault video.

Delhi Police Special Cell comes to rescue of NDTV employee M Atharuddin for plasma therapy

Atharuddin alias Munne Bharti had put out a tweet in the morning requesting urgent plasma donation.

Arrested gangster Feroz Ali killed after UP Police car crashes on the way to Lucknow

UP's wanted Gangster Feroz Ali killed in road accident while being brought by police from Mumbai.

Another temple attacked in Andhra Pradesh, Nandi idol vandalized in Chittoor

The 12th century Kasi Visweswara Swamy temple was attacked recently where miscreants had damaged the Nandi idol. There have been several such attacks in recent days.

Connect with us

244,181FansLike
456,499FollowersFollow
17,300SubscribersSubscribe