Tag: Times Now

RSS and Nitin Gadkari

When IAC headed by Arvind Kejriwal came out with accusations against Nitin Gadkari on 17/10/2012 BJP took it lightly. Arun Jaitley said a mountain is made of what is not even a molehill. Nitin Gadkari said he felt laughing. Many journalists were disappointed that the expose was not explosive. IAC members defended themselves. Kumar Vishwas on Times Now said this is not a T20 match.

TV channels began their investigations into Purti Power and Sugar Ltd (PPSL). They discovered a web of companies in which driver, accountant, astrologer, and other workers of Nitin Gadkari were directors. There was demand that Nitin Gadkari step down as BJP President. Nitin Gadkari said he was ready for any probe. RSS was behind him. They wanted him to continue as president.

On 30/10/2012 IRB Infrastructure Developers Ltd came out with an advertisement denying any link between IRB Group and Purti Group.

Ram Jethmalani spoke against Nitin Gadkari. Mahesh Jethmalani on 5/11/2012 quit from national executive committee of BJP. Next day Ram Jethmalani’s letter to Lal Krishna Advani became public. Ram Jethmalani had written that he, Jaswant Singh, Yashwant, and Shatrughan Sinha wanted Nitin Gadkari to quit. On 8/11/2012 L. K. Advani turned 85. Nitin Gadkari met him to wish happy birthday.

S. Gurumurthy got into the act. As chartered accountant he went through papers related to PPSL and other companies and said there is no case against Nitin Gadkari, met L. K. Advani and briefed BJP leaders. Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj prepared a joint statement which Ravi Shankar Prasad read out. The party was behind Nitin Gadkari.

RSS defends Nitin Gadkari means RSS is corrupt. RSS officially says it is for BJP to decide about its president, unofficially it tells BJP leaders what to do. Nitin Gadkari was RSS choice. Mohan Bhagwat wanted him to be BJP President. He wanted him to get second term. BJP constitution was amended to favour Nitin Gadkari.

Apart from Atal Behari Vajpayee no other BJP leader has been able to defy RSS and remain in BJP. L. K. Advani had to quit as president for his Jinnah remark. There is the question of next prime ministerial candidate. Narendra Modi has many supporters, one of them is Ram Jethmalani.

IAC revelations led to copycat revelations by Y. P. Singh and Subramanian Swamy. Y. P. Singh spoke about Sharad Pawar and Salman Khan. Subramanian Swamy targeted Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. He said Congress loaned 90 crore rupees to Associated Journals Pvt. Ltd. (AJPL) that published National Herald. AJPL was sold to Young Indian through transfer of shares. The deal was done to acquire Herald House. Young Indian wrote off the debt for 50 lakh rupees.

Manmohan Vaidya blogged Narendra Modi was behind the campaign to oust Nitin Gadkari. RSS said it was his personal view. S. Gurumurthy’s tweets about Nitin Gadkari created confusion. It seems there is confusion within RSS.

NDTV and TRPs

NDTV has filed a suit in New York against The Nielsen of USA and Kantar Media Research, owned by WPP Plc of UK for two billion dollars for TRPs by TAM Media Research Pvt. Ltd., a joint venture company owned by Nielsen and Kantar. TAM stands for television audience measurement. TRP figures by TAM decide ad revenue. Broadcasters and advertisers buy data from TAM.

NDTV 24×7 once dominated English news. It now has competition from CNN-IBN and Times Now. NDTV Profit has competition from CNBC TV18 and ET Now. NDTV India does not have much viewership. NDTV’s film and entertainment channels failed. If NDTV TRPs have gone down there is nothing strange in it.

TAM uses 8,160 peoplemeters. NDTV wanted them to use 30,000 peoplemeters. NDTV claims they had written to TAM about aberrations in its measurement methodology and they have evidence of fiddling of peoplemeters by TAM field staff at the behest of a rival.

NDTV did not sack Barkha Dutt when her connection to a lobbyist was known. N. Ram said BBC, Financial Times or New York Times would not have tolerated such a thing. Vir Sanghvi and Prabhu Chawla lost their jobs for lobbyist connection.

NDTV’s evidence may be like the cheap sting operation they conducted when they hired a private detective agency to keep an eye on Barkha Dutt and tap her phone. NDTV’s rival can claim NDTV bribed TAM field staff to fiddle with peoplemeters.

TV channels do not question TAM when they get favourable TRPs. When TRPs are low they question the methodology and other things. It is like political parties who accept favourable opinion polls and exit polls but do not believe them when they show them as losers.

NDTV should maintain standard of programmes. It is not good when during discussion you have Breaking News and panelists are ignored. It is disgusting to telecast the interview of a woman who gatecrashed London Olympics march past and walked along Indian contingent.

Cheat the Nation

Once I found Manish Tewari and Ajit Singh on CNN-IBN and Times Now at the same time on what were supposed to be live discussions. I wondered how it could be. I had heard or read about the saints having the gift of bilocation but it was more than that. It was bilocation plus bilocution. Not only people were present on two different places at the same time they were also saying different words at the same time.

Sometimes I found panelists on three channels at the same time. Finding on two channels had become common. It was obvious someone had recorded with some people before and using the footage. No channel disclosed someone was interviewed before the programme except once when Amitabh Revi on NDTV 24×7 said Kiran Bedi was interviewed before.

On 9/11/2011 on Face the Nation there were four panelists: Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Arun Bhatia and two others. It was about Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s anti-corruption yatra in Uttar Pradesh. The question was whether spiritual gurus should participate in the fight against corruption. Arun Bhatia criticized Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and said he had trivialized corruption. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar was unruffled at the criticism. He did not respond.

Next day came the shocker. At the end of Face the Nation Sagarika Ghose apologized to Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. She admitted it was recorded a couple of hours earlier. Face the Nation is telecast at 10 p.m., so couple of hours earlier means at 8 p.m. The recording was around 3 p.m., seven hours earlier and not a couple of hours earlier.

Face the Nation exposed itself to be Cheat the Nation. How many times it had used pre-recorded material we do not know. It is probable that some had protested but that had not become public. Sometimes for factual errors anchors apologise as one there was an apology for putting Bangalore in Andhra Pradesh. It is rare for an anchor to apologize for misleading the viewers. It means not apologizing to Sri Sri Ravi Shankar was not an option.

There has to be action against news TV channels that mislead viewers. There has to be punishment for claiming an interview to be exclusive when it is not. If pre-recorded footage is used there has to be disclosure. Use of phrases like Breaking News or Just In should be restricted. Separate cameras should not be used for people sitting in the studio. For a start every channel that claimed it had exclusive interview of Anna Hazare some weeks back can apologise saying “We claimed we had exclusive interview of Anna Hazare. We were wrong. We were one of the 17 channels that had interviewed Anna Hazare. We apologise to our viewers for misleading.”