Tag Archives: BlackBerry

‘Do terrorists sit around watching television?’

Did the non-stop television coverage of the terror attack on Bombay reveal operational details of the commando operations, endanger the lives of hostages, intrude into the personal lives of victims and relatives, etc?

In today’s Indian Express, the founder of India TV, Rajat Sharma, claims he tried an interesting experiment last Saturday. He invited a former army chief to address the staff  “to understand, from a decorated war hero, whether news channels went overboard in their coverage”, and what precautions, if any, producers, reporters and camerapersons should have taken while showing “live” action.

Writes Sharma:

“To my surprise, the former army chief was emphatic: “News channels did nothing wrong. Your coverage didn’t do any harm whatsoever to the commandos! I’ve handled action as a major, then as a full colonel, and finally as an army commander in anti-terrorist operations, and there’s nothing I could make out from the news channel about the strategy of our commandos.

“Frankly, I expected him to echo what some have been saying—how terrorists got valuable clues on the commando plan by watching our channels. But sample what he said: “Do you think that terrorists holed up in a hotel facing commando fire had time to watch TV?”

“A young reporter persisted. He reminded the general of the “widespread belief” that the terrorists were being briefed on their Blackberrys by their bosses, watching our news channels. Promptly came the angry reply. “Anyone suggesting this must be mad. (Even) I could not get an idea about the action plan. Who has the time to look at TV and Blackberrys when you are in the midst of gunfire?”

Read the full article here: Reality, not television

Read Barkha Dutt’s defence: ‘The media is not the message. The viewer is king’

Also read: ‘NDTV: Navy chief’s comment is defamatory’


Should political journalists vote in an election?

Should journalists, especially political journalists, vote in an election? Are we revealing our political bias by marking our choice which we then expertly conceal when we write, edit, report?

On the other hand, can journalists be hermits who reside outside the thickets of the socio-political jungle we claim to bring home to readers, viewers, listeners? Should we be equidistant in pursuit of that mirage called objectivity? Or do we have a silly, exaggerated notion of ourselves and our jobs?

These are old questions that have asked and answered before.

H.R. Venkatesh of CNN-IBN faced them as he went into his polling booth in Bangalore this morning. As he blogged lived from his BlackBerry™:

12:30 pm: Voted! Walked into the school which is doubling up as a polling booth. The queue is not long at all, and before I know it, a man’s pushing me into one of the classrooms. Have to make a small confession here – this is my first time – and am momentarily confused. But the line of people sitting inside waives me through the scrutiny of ID, the dabbing of indelible ink and the stamping of a paper slip. The Electronic Voting Machine stumps me – I’d walked in without giving a thought to who I’d vote for and now I pause. Who do I vote for? I reject the Congress, BJP and JD(S) candidates on the grounds that a journalist should never vote for a major political party. The rest is simple. I choose an Independent candidate who has a bat for a logo, on the grounds that I can’t do much wrong with him. Perhaps he will do something for the Royal Challengers if voted 🙂 People have voted for worse reasons, haven’t they?

Read the full blog: Bangalore votes

Cross-posted on churumuri