The TV channels keep on harping about how bad the 'Broadcast Bill' proposed by that slick-willy, Priya Ranjan Das Munshi is like a draconian act that even the Gestapo would not have thought up. However, yesterday when 'India Live' the latest incarnation of 'Janmat' a channel that virtually no-one watches managed to create a riot in Old Delhi, you wonder if even sting operations in the 'public good' need to be regulated.
While, there is no doubt that this sting operation weeded out a person who has no place in civil society, should the channel have gone live with the sting before it informed the local authorities? I think it should have. Of course, the said channel was proudly thumping its chest - 'Hey look, we caused a riot! Yay!'
Listen, to repeat I do not believe that what these guys did in itself was bad, but before airing they should have informed the police, even gone to the Delhi Police Commissioner or someone at the Central Government and had this woman arrested. Plus, the Police should have been warned to give them time to react. Should the school not have been identified? Maybe yes, but that is debatable.
At the same time, while the 'premier' English news channels have harped on about how evil the act is, the fact remains that through the day some of non-English channels could not care less. Watching TV in the afternoon is like watching a comedy show if you put on certain channels which really care more about Katrina Kaif visiting Salman Khan than anything else. Heck, the outburst of judges on India's cacophonic music shows makes for an half-hour special! So where does news end and where does entertainment begin?
So should channels who have lost the plot when it comes to news be held accountable? I think they should. Either that, or they become news channels again. I'm not saying that there is no room for entertainment, but create special channels for such reporting and with stings, at least co-ordinate them when you are exposing something that will rankle the public. Don't keep shooting yourself in the foot and then start frothing at the mouth.
Oh yeah, and NDTV has sold its soul to Kingfisher - Vijay Mallya is the lead sponsor of their new lifestyle channel which will be called NDTV 'Good Times'. Don't know what to say! But VM had this to say...
The Kingfisher brand has come to epitomize a lifestyle that encompasses some of the finest things in life and is today synonymous with delivering a premium experience. The NDTV Good Times channel would leverage from the editorial credibility and quality of the NDTV group and the strong lifestyle appeal of the Kingfisher brand and icon, to offer Indian viewers a world-class television entertainment experience. The shared values of the Kingfisher brand and NDTV Good Times - a great lifestyle, the good times and living in style are highly complementary.
Didn't know that really...
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