Saturday, January 3, 2015

Amiss with IBN

After a year and a half, when I came back to India, I discovered something very strange in one of the country's leading English news channels, CNN-IBN: there was hardly any news! For a channel that brought great hope against NDTV's extreme politicization, even after the Reliance takeover of Network 18, this is a huge disappointment. Over the last two weeks, the channel has been putting more focus on its Bollywood Roundtable series, an utterly boring and non-issue, over far more serious things and even less serious things! The sight was ridiculous on New Year's Eve when every other channel was discussing something or the other about the coming new year, even if it was simply beaming pictures from eastern countries, while IBN was still busy with its Bollywood lineup!

Back when I used to be in India, I'd watch IBN for serious news and The Newshour for mere entertainment. But now, even the latter has more 'news' than IBN, which just shows how much has changed in the intervening period. The only silver lining is that terrible journalist, Sagarika Ghose, is no longer on IBN to dish out her terrible, biased programming. But that's just about the only positive thing - Rajiv Masand has essentially replaced her. 

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