On a day when Dhoni & Co went on to avenge the Asia Cup humiliation, who would really care about political news?
So I gave Times Now, NewsX and CNN-IBN a miss after a two-minute dekho each, checked out a few minutes of the discussion on NDTV 24x7 on the life sentence in the Mumbai gangrape case and went off to watch the match and surf some more.
But even as I was toggling between the two Star Sports feeds and the rest of the news channels, I found the Twitter Debate on Headlines Today exceedingly engaging.
Rahul Kanwal, about whom I have had some reservations on how he stacks up against Rajdeep Sardesai, Arnab Goswami and Barkha Dutt, was super.
Restrained and deftly handling the speakers, stopping them when their time was up without being harsh on them. It reminded me of The Big Fight with Rajdeep on NDTV, though that was another era.
As viewers were encouraged to tweet with the hashtag #Yourvote2014, interspersing the debate was defence journo and anchor Shiv Aroor reading out tweets, Pierre Mario Fitter giving us the Sentiment Analysis and a Heat Map both offering indicators of the positive and negative tweets.
In the end, Subramanian Swamy, won the debate. With reason. The theme was ‘Is the Modi wave real?’ and we all know about the army of BJP loyalists active on the social media. Also, Swamy is a good talker.
If opinion polls are unscientific and do not necessarily reflect the mood of the masses, it would be foolhardy to believe Twitter-based analyses mirror the mood of the influentials.
But like the guests of the show Sanjay Jha, Derek O’Brien and Swamy, I loved the snappy format of #Yourvote2014, and look forward to the next edition on March 28.
In fact, I may watch last week’s launch edition on YouTube/Headlines Today site. An India win against Pakistan, a good show on an underdog channel. Life’s good. Enjoy the weekend.
Pradyuman Maheshwari is a senior journalist and editor. When he’s not chasing news, he’s watching it.
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