The last few days many of us are glued to CNN in India watching the coverage of Hurricane Sandy. You can see a contrast in the language of the TV journos of US and India.
If you watch the English news TV channels in India – CNN-IBN, NDTV, Times Now and Headlines Today you constantly get to hear the following,
- In an ‘exclusive’ interview with us (all channels claim the interview was exclusive).
- In an exclusive interview with “your” channel.
- Remember you FIRST heard and saw this on OUR channel.
- Remember you FIRST heard and saw this on YOUR channel.
Unfortunately these are told even for devastating news (terrorism, storms, cyclones). We saw how patriotically our TV channels covered 26/11 (and ruined the counter attack operations of our brave armed forces).
It is not that the US coverage is perfect, they too try to dramatize at times but far less than their Indian counterparts. Hopefully our Indian TV anchors are making a note.
Govt Officials Available for the effected
Anyway it was heartening to see how the US govt officials reach out to their citizens. You could see Mayors on the streets supervising the relief operations. Governors of affected states were talking to the public. The President was continuously talking to the govt officials (and using the photos effectively indirectly for the Presidential election campaign!)
Just recently we in Bangalore were reminded that the city was transformed from a Garden city to Garbage city. None of the government representatives reached out to the public – the CM, the non-existent opposition party (Congress), Mayor, MLAs. None.