19 July 2005

Don't write off Doordarshan, yet

It does not have big ads, raucous anchors or the glamour of some trendy brands. But look hard, and you find Doordarshan News has its own charms (apart from its sizeable reach to yet-uncabled homes). State-run DDN has a wonderful show called Statescan on weekday mornings. It belongs to the old age, but holds your attention like a trendy vintage car. What impressed one was that the anchor sounded smart and intelligent, while regional correspondents had a natural flavour of their states. The accent was gauche and the content was rickety, with local cultural events getting some predictable government touch. But such programmes fill a crucial void in serving viewers on the goings-on in remote parts of India. The much-marketed English media tends to ignore some genuinely newsworthy events, perhaps because its influential correspondents are not invited to samosa-and-chai press conferences in remote areas.
NDTV used to have a nice show called The Nation Tonight or something like that (Apologies if it still exists, am a bit lazy/busy to check now) but it was more of a talk shop with regional corros. Indian media in general does not do full justice to coverage from the states. Statescan seem to be at least trying.
And DD's correspondents and anchors are getting smarter and slicker because India abounds in talent.

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