How much good do party spokesmen do when they appear on television? A spokesman’s job is not just to present his party’s point of view but to do it in a manner that sounds reasonable and manages to convince neutral or undecided voters. Read more

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Have you been watching the election programmes on television? If you have, then you will have noticed a curious phenomenon: the relative absence of Hindutva/right wing voices.

Programme after programme, it is still Swapan Dasgupta and Chandan Mitra who appear on TV to give us a BJP perspective. Sometimes, we get Ashok Malik. And occasionally, there is Praful Goradia, though I am not quite sure that he really understands where the BJP stands. And that’s pretty much the lot. Read more

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Is the TV boom over? It is certainly beginning to seem that way. In the English news space, only the Big Three (NDTV, Times and CNN-IBN) continue to rule the roost. Though Headlines Today has improved enormously, it has still to crash into the ranks of the Big Three. None of the new channels seem to have made an impact. And even then, I doubt if a single English news channel is making a profit. That’s why they are all cutting back, shedding staff and slashing salaries. Read more

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My son is taking his final exam for the International Baccalaureate. As part of the exam, students who opt for the Theory of Knowledge paper, have o do a short presentation on a topic of contemporary relevance.

According to my son, one of the best presentations in his school this year was on the subject of media coverage of the Bombay attacks. Had the media been too sensationalistic? Had they helped the terrorists? That sort of thing. Read more

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Here is a paradox for you to ponder.

Most Indian newspapers are reducing the space given to editorial comment. The Times of India has tried to abolish its editorial page several times. And the conventional wisdom among newspaper executives – backed up by market research agencies – is that nobody reads the editorials. Read more

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