'Press'ing questions

Mar 01, 2014, 01:48 IST | Pradyuman Maheshwari

Pradyuman MaheshwariWhat’s a good way for journalists to capture the mood of the masses? Conduct an opinion poll? Ask leading questions? Speak to a cross-section of people? And then wrap up the vox pop with their concluding remarks? When this is done in print, you trust the publication and the journalist. But when it’s on news television, the channel and journo stand exposed.

I have nothing against the process followed, but I don’t think it’s right for the presenter to get the views of a handful of people and extrapolate it to the mood of an entire community or institution.

When CNN-IBN Deputy Editor and star anchor Sagarika Ghose visited the Jamia Millia Islamia in New Delhi and asked students whether they were fine with BJP President’s Rajnath Singh apology, the issue of Congress apathy towards the cause of Muslims too was raised.

While I am certain that a large number of students would want the sorry to come from thePM-in-waiting, it would be incorrect to pass off the views of a small group of students as that of the entire Muslim youth (even if it may well be the case).

Subrata Roy’s arrest by the UP police was all over telly yesterday. The Sahara chief was taken to police custody. Arnab Goswami mentioned how he spoke to many politicians and all of them refused to come on the show. There were many visuals of leaders with Roy but Arnab didn’t get down to naming those who refused to speak to him. Why not name them, Mr Goswami? Tell us... India wants to know!

Chirag Paswan is no John Abraham, but he’s sure to set news TV screens on fire in the months to come. Or so I figured when I was at an electronics showroom in Pune yesterday. A group of college kids thought he was cute and were trying to guess his name.

One of them recalled watching him in the 2011 dud Miley Naa Miley Hum. It was interesting to see him take some tough questions from Bhupendra Chaubey on CNN-IBN last night. I thought Chaubey was a bit harsh on the boy, though the interview was a welcome relief from the overdose on Saharashri.

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

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