‘Sandeep Bhushan seeks to demystify India’s television revolution at an interesting time, one where TV news faces a crisis of credibility and growth. It’s a crisis that presents a challenge and an opportunity; Bhushan’s book is a valuable addition to a much needed public debate on the way forward.’
– Rajdeep Sardesai, Journalist and Author
What happens in a television newsroom? How is news selected? Is the news big in itself, or is its importance contingent upon who brings it to the viewer? How do the reporter and the editor stand in relation to each other? Who holds the power? What is the star system and how does it work? What explains the dominance of studio-driven news and the resulting marginalisation of the reporter? What is the role of technology?
The Indian satellite television news is only two decades old and yet there are similari-ties between the grammar of the Indian English news television and other much older television networks like in the US in ways such as the popularisation of catering to the rising right-wing constituency and the presentation of every news as breaking news. But despite the similarities, the Indian English television news is also unique. The different interpretation of freedom of speech in India, the operation (or the lack) of the regula-tory authorities which act as buffer between the state and media and corporatisation of the newsroom shapes the news distinctively. The television revenue model is uncertain and shaky, completely dependent on the business owner. Moreover, studioisation has marginalised the reporter, the only point of contact between the society at large and a news organisation, and made the anchors larger than life, power wielding brands for the news organisations they represent. The Indian news television in its naked projection of proximity to powerful politicians goes a step ahead from what access journalism is.
The Indian Newsroom is a straight-talking book that looks at how English television news reporting works, especially in the context of corporate ownership and politically mediated coverage. It includes behind-the-scenes stories about the anchors and the stars, the controversies and the patchy way ahead, all thoughtfully narrated by a senior journalist who is considered to be among the best in the business.
SANDEEP BHUSHAN is a senior journalist who has worked with NDTV and the Indian Express, and has been writing for The Caravan and The Wire for the past two years.
He has also lectured on the subject of media studies at various media studies departments.
Pub date: 25 April 2019 | Imprint: Context | Price: INR 699