From the time I was in my teens, I have always had a special affection for the north-east of India. In my case, my motives were entirely personal. I went out for several years with a girl from one of the north-eastern states. Read more
Indians have a funny relationship with the English language. Once upon a time we saw it as the language of the colonial oppressors and spent a long time arguing for its abolition from Indian discourse. Read more
I don’t know if you’ve noticed but something different is happening to English news TV in India. The best way to recognize the change is to look at what the channels were doing ten years ago and to then look at today’s formats. Read more
The relationship between television and politicians continues to fascinate me. Many politicians claim that TV is biased against them. Usually, those who complain are conservatives who feel that journalists are liberals and are therefore biased against them. Read more
I don’t know if you’ve seen the movie Man Of The Year, staring Robin Williams, Christopher Walken, Jeff Goldblum and Laura Linney. It came out at least a couple of years ago and was about a Jon Stewart-type talk show host who becomes President of the US thanks to a computer error. Read more
You will have heard all the usual stuff about television and the election. You will have been told that TV focuses on superficialities, that it does not reach the masses, that TV debates are an irrelevance etc etc.
I don’t want to get into all of that. But there’s one way in which TV has changed the rules of electioneering. And I find that it does not get enough credit for that. Read more
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
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