Friday, August 19, 2011



1.From "Dawn" of August 20,2011 on Karachi: "Anchors are seizing on it all, flogging the machinations to shore up flagging ratings.”

2. "Anything will be discussed, anything is fair game, as long as it doesn’t add up to informed or meaningful debate.”

3. " Informed, meaningful debate isn’t good for ratings."So says "Dawn" on TV coverage of Karachi.

4. Equally valid for Indian TV coverage of the Anna Hazare (AH) movement. A well-known columnist has compared the TV coverage of AH to its coverage of the Kandahar hijacking in 1999.

5. Creating illusions and street hysteria. Karan Thapar pointed out last night that Times Now reported that there were over 100,000 outside Tihar whereas the number could not have been more than 20,000.There is a need for a more critical focus on the role of the TV.

6. Unfortunately, Doordarshan (DD) has not risen to the occasion & made an impact as a public service TV channel.

7. DD has totally surrendered the field to private channels. DD's coverage of the parliamentary debate was the best, but nobody noticed it.

8. PM & others should make greater use of DD to disseminate their point of view and project their ideas & let private channels pick up from DD.

9. Govt should set up a group of journalists for a critical analysis of the role of the TV.

10. Twitter should be extensively used by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) to disseminate Govt's views. Start today. Start Now.

11. We neglected media during Kandahar. Paid a price. Repeating the mistake now. Shed the diffidence. Choose the right persons as spokesmen.

12.Interact with media freely, frankly, trustingly & without complexes. Distrust begets distrust. (20-8-11)

( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai, and Associate, Chennai Centre For China Studies. E-mail: . Twitter @SORBONNE75 )