NDTV's not that bad after all

Pradyuman MaheshwariI am a huge fan of Prannoy Roy and Dorab Sopariwalla and their brand of elections coverage on news television.

That’s one reason why NDTV 24x7 was the channel to watch every election. But post the Niira Radia tapes controversy, I lost all respect for the network and Dr Roy.

He ought to have asked Barkha Dutt to go off air, get an independent enquiry conducted and asked Barkha to apologise if she wanted to stay on. He did neither.

NDTV has several others on primetime - Vikram Chandra, who is also Group CEO and Exec Director, Sonia Verma Singh, Editorial Director, Sreenivasan Jain - but they are all as dull and boring as, say, lauki/doodhi bhaji.

And that’s possibly the reason why I believed the channels to track for Elections 2014 were Times Now and CNN-IBN (in that order). But the nightlies of last night got me to change my mind.

Having not watched much of the news through the day and with the pre-9pm focus being on the AAP-BJP clashes, I was looking for a nice, clean update on the Announcement.

Arnab Goswami was expectedly on the case of the BJP and the AAP. Rajdeep Sardesai was back to his election tracker. If he does it for one more day - which I am sure he will, it’s going to turn into a blindspot.

The 9pm slot should ideally be for the news of the day, and while the AAP-BJP clash could well be an indicator of what’s going to happen until the last day of polling, one was clearly looking for some clarity on the elections dates.

And that’s where Vikram Chandra and NDTV scored. He first went through the dates of the elections. No fancy graphics. Just plain, simple stuff.

He got Dorab to give his perspectives and then moved to a panel. The politicians took their positions, but they sound so much better and chilled on this channel.

In fact it was the New York South Asia correspondent Gardiner Harris who got a little aggro and said he would eat his shorts if the Congress were to win the elections.

Pradyuman Maheshwari is a senior journalist and editor. When he’s not chasing news, he’s watching it.
Twitter: @pmahesh

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