Friday, July 13, 2012

When less(news) was more(news)

Was listening to the radio in my car, when the tidbit given by RJ chetan was  news to me. He said there was no news on a particular day and that day was April 18th 1930.  According to him the news  went like this-

” Good evening, Today is Good Friday. There is no news”.  

On This day officially there was no news report , since nothing news worthy happened and only the piano was played the whole day.

Now, that was a contrast to today’s news where we are being fed with news on most news channels 24/7/365.

Well, is there something news worthy enough to be telecast all the time. It is the same news that is being recycled with  different byliners like flashnews; breaking news; stop press etc., Any time you switch on the channel, the byliners and headlines  are constant and the same old news is recycled through the day or with little variation.

And there is no parity in news between the channels. Each channel  trying to out do the other to sensationalize a tiny piece of news  or give extra mileage to a known celebrity.  As if to add salt to the injury, the news anchors of today shout on top of their voices while relating or reporting an event so much so that even their mikes would go unconscious.  I still can remember how a  celebrity newsanchor  shouted and called out to her colleague to find the latest news when the  Taj blasts of Mumbai   happened and there were explosions in the background.

 The news gets more  spicier, hotter and acidic if the newschannels are run by some political party , with one channel trying  to openly malign the other and blowing their own trumpets. Today’s news channel radiate so much of negativity and uncensored violence that sometimes even after the TV is switched off the visuals come back to haunt you.

I could’nt resist  myself from revisiting the past when news was  carried in a dignified way and read by beautiful and handsome readers who were role models for many and style icons in their own right. 

If you grew up in the 70's and 80's -  Do you all remember the immaculately dressed Rini Simon Khanna, the admirable Komal GB Singh, the bearded Sunit Tandon, the baritone voiced Tejeswar,  lovely  Mini,  soft toned Niti Ravindran,  suave  Bhaskar Bhattacharjee and many more of course the pioneer amongst them was Sasi Kumar.

The news during pre-satellite channel days  were not sensational , competitive or prejudiced and each reader presented the news with the right dose of smile, right intonation and elegance.

The  DD English news almost coincided with our dinner time. When dinner was being laid on the table, I, my  little sis and my cousin who stayed with us would  voice the names of who would read the news that day. Appa too would join in the fun. He would always root for Komal GB  Singh( she reminded my father of his mom),  Amma’s choice would be Rini, while we would call out for the others. It would be great fun till the favorite news reader appeared on the screen and then if it was the newsreader whom we had called,  we would sport a “I told you so” look.

And then along with the dinner, we also chewed, diced and discussed the news and most often at home, there would be a dual party one supporting the Rajiv Congress and the other supporting for VPSingh. Many a times this has ended in a verbal fight and cold wars at home with my cousin and my sis.  

Those days, when news time was less but had qualitynews and  even the most harshest of news was conveyed in a  soothing  and soft way. And  news then , was a reliable window for us to the world….no a broad door.....

Today of course,  we are spoilt with so many  news channels  that I keep toggling  the channels not knowing which channel would provide me with that quality, reliable news.


  1. oh all these so called news channels are busy making "Breaking News" out of nothing.....

    and BTW you what about that ever smiling Salma Sultan...even she used to be news reader along with all those you mentioned....:)

  2. Ah - for the day when we can say there was no news !!!!

    BBC World service - still for the best news in the world. No shrillness, deep insights and an absolute pleasure to hear. As for TV channels, Indian or otherwise, comments are best left unsaid.

  3. aaaavvvvvvvvvvvv..semma nostalgic dad liked rini and i used to hide tv standing in front of it..not allowing him to see...and that french beard guy always i felt brought bad news :)

  4. yes maam, we are spoilt with so many news channels :)

  5. @ Irfanuddin - yes, i remember her. Salma read hindi news along with shammi narang, manjari joshi etc.,

    @ Ramesh -yes, BBC for world news. but they don't cover regional news when we are desperate like the Punjagutta underconstruction bridge, when it fell, i first tuned into it BBC but they did not cover it.

    @ gils - yarupa adhu... french beard guy? theriyalaiye.

    @ R. Ramesh - :)