I grew up in a time when we had black & white transmission and limited duration of Television broadcast. Colour transmission was introduced in 1982. Post liberalization a host of new Channel beaming an unending fare of programs 24 X 7. News channels competing for our attention, sitcoms etc!
The new high came in 1999 Kargil War. Channels brought this war right into our living rooms. While the men in uniform covered themselves with glory in the battlefield, a hero was born or should one say a Heroine of the small screen no not the glamorous kind. A news reporter who became the visible face of the 24 x 7 News Channels!
She won our hearts and ruled our minds. We became her slaves believed every word she uttered as gospel truth. Then came a minor shift in 2002, became a little more slanted in 2004, gradually the slant became more steep, which compelled me to scrutinize what was being said on the channel and compare it with others in electronic media and also with the print.
I was now convinced that all was not as it should be; I felt cheated, what recourse did I have? None other than move away from watching news on NDTV; I did precisely that. No not even once did I miss the channel, though I continued to watch programs like Big Fight, We the people and Buck Stops Here, used to post comments regularly on these show, also signed on NDTV Social which is their website.
I did e-mail and share a few tweets with Barkha Dutt around early to mid 2009. By now even the programs hosted by her had started to lose their sheen, it was becoming increasingly apparent that there was more than that met the eye. Slowly but surely I was losing interest in this News Channel which I had watched for almost 2 decades.
The on 2nd Dec 2009 an incident took place on the NDTV social site. Nidhi Razdan employed foul language towards a visitor, which I felt was reason enough for me to move away from following her. I enquired with her if she could block me since that option was not available at my end. The response from her is most forgettable. That sealed my dealing with NDTV. I stopped watching this channel completely 07th Dec 2009. Excerpt of the exchange of tweets with Nidhi Razdan on 2nd Dec 2009 and tweets posted Mr.Pannoy Roy on NDTV (cont)
I progressed from feeling cheated to now a position where there was disgust for this channel and its personnel. Since I did not watch the channel anymore it did not matter what they broadcasted or promoted. On the net post Ayodhaya verdict there were blogs which had specific references to Barkha Dutt excerpt of the conversations and the way she had conduct her show. Finally I ended up signing an online petition to NDTV in protest for what they were transmitting as being unacceptable.
Courtesy these tapes (in 5 parts) were posted at Open Magazine. The link for the post is given
Today what we see is that Barkha Dutt is at the receiving end of the same system that she engendered, do I pity her No! Do I empathize with her unfortunately No is the answer. Do I believe what is going around on the net to be true and authentic? I have no independent source for checking the veracity and would go along and accept it as being true. Do I believe Barkha Dutt is guilty of wrong doing? My answer to that is it is for the courts to decide, I do not have the expertise.
It is due to the reportage and the extreme slant that is visible in the Electronic and Print media that I took to blogging and my main focus has been the role of Media. Today I do feel vindicated that, my suspicions were not unfounded. There is more than what meets the eye. Personnel employed by this industry must realize that they face the camera because of professional compulsions and not because they deserve the attention of those cameras. The sooner arrogance is shed by these individual the better they will be able to connect with the public.
Media is an important interface between the government and the people. This medium needs to be strong, independent, trustworthy and transparent. Any doubts on its credibility will mean demise of that channel for sure and a blow to the industry as whole. The only advice that I can proffer to Barkha Dutt is how ever hard you may try, you take a million people to court the perception is not going to change. The sooner you move on the less hurtful it will be for you. Your continued presence will start to hurt the channel also and then it will ask you to leave before you reach that point take the tough step your ownself.
Rehabilitation is a slow process, once anyone falls from grace it is difficult to return. Public is not in a frame of mind where forgiveness can be expected or requested. Too many wrong have surfaced simultaneously. More heads have to roll we need a clean system. You may just be the first of the many victims from the Media that these scams will claim.
Barkha Dutta fighting back seeking to rehabilitate herself.
This is the latest update on Barkha Dutt post the anti corruption fast by Anna Hazare.
Latest update as on 15th Apr 2016
Latest update as on 17th Jan 2013
I had to look three times to make sure I was seeing right. Balanced on one
knee, in a tiny alley behind the army’s administrative offices, I was peering
through a hole in a corrugated tin sheet. At first glance, all I could see were some leaves.
I looked harder and amidst all the green, there was a hint of black—
it looked like a moustache. “Look again,” said the army colonel,
in a tone that betrayed suppressed excitement. This time, I finally saw.
It was a head, the disembodied face of a slain soldier nailed onto a tree.
“The boys got it as a gift for the brigade,”
said the colonel, softly, but proudly. [Archived at The Hoot]
The Buck Stops Where?
Latest update as on 05th FEB 2016
Naval Chief Admiral Suresh Mehta has set the tail of Indian Media on fire. Indian Main Stream Media mostly – Secular, Social, Liberal and Progressive (!) is outraged.
Admiral Mehta while addressing a press conference on the eve of Navy day passed some scathing remarks on the way media covered the recent Mumbai Mayhem and passed some strictures against the ‘reigning queen’ of Indian Media: Ms. Barkha Dutt.
This is what Admiral Mehta said.
This is an old post. relevant even today.
I welcome a debate and discussion on this…As always, please keep your tone civil, your language polite…no sweeping generalisations please and no personal abuse. Thank you.