Malvika Singh, whose parents Raj and Romesh Thapar started Seminar magazine (and whose attempt to start a news channel for Ashok Advani‘s Business India magazine in the mid-1990s is the stuff of media lore), in The Telegraph, Calcutta:
“An intellectually lazy press corps that controls and operates the electronic media in India, drowning us all in its short bites and screams, virtually taking on the garb of the politician on the soap box, has dumbed down the discourse. It has no idea of how to divide reporting from analysis as it allows the two to merge seamlessly into a stream of confusion and one-sided chatter.
“The other example of that laziness can be found in the guests who appear on all the channels — about the same 40 people who are tossed about as in a caesar salad. No fresh views, no new voices.
“Television was meant to be a tool that would access far-flung views and voices in an effort to expand the real news from the ground as well as the dialogue. Instead, each channel is predictable in its reactions to political happenings and one can clearly ascertain the personal political preferences of the owners and the anchors in the construct of their programmes.
“Indian television is like a nautanki, a soap opera, watched for the ‘live’ entertainment it provides as it shows real life leaders of India prancing about abusing one another, thereby demeaning themselves in full public view.”
Photograph: courtesy Tehelka