Tuesday, September 4, 2007


By Mr. Vinod Mehta in Outlook diary

Indian TV channels competing furiously for eyeballs should learn from Jeremy Paxman (he once called all British politicians `lying bastards'), the highest paid British TV journalist, as he attacks the 24/7 news channel culture: "In the very crowded world in which television lives, it won't do to whisper, natter, cogitate or muse. You have to shout.
The need is for constant sensation...We have a dynamic in news now that is less about uncovering things than it is about covering them."
"My point is," Paxman adds, "that there comes a point where frenzy has to be put on one side, the story halted, so that we can make sense of things. Television journalism's justification should be the justification of journalism through the ages: to inquire, to explain and to hold to account. The news may have been dull, but it was respected because it made sense of the day. That involved people assessing, filtering, separating froth from what mattered. It was, in short, the exercise of clear judgement. And in return it demanded-and got-the trust of the audience."

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