Outlook’s special Independance Day issue is devoted to ‘good news’. In its lead essay Mukul Kesavan asks why good news doesn’t get the space it deserves.
Where’s the good news? Not the sort that energetic evangelicals bring with their tracts and their spiels for Jesus, just ordinarily good (good as in cheering, uplifting, heartening, encouraging) news? Where’s the story about the honest member of Parliament who used his discretionary funds to actually help his constituents? About the judges who outlawed state vigilantism? About the district where payments under NREGA are made in full? It surely can’t be any editor’s case that honesty, scruple and inspirational work are absent in India, so why don’t we, as consumers of news, hear about them? more
Elsewhere, in the same issue, Arnab Goswami of Times Now says the kernel of the negativity debate lies in the number of scams that demand answers.
Let me begin with an admission. I had no idea it would become so big. When we sent our crew to London to follow up on a scam that ran into a few hundred thousand pounds, we weren’t even sure if a company called AM Car and Films existed. We had papers to show the British government was suspicious about transactions between politician-sports czar Suresh Kalmadi’s CWG organising committee and this vague company with a Peel Road suburban London address.
The story finally broke on June 30, ’10, at around 7 pm, just as we were getting into prime-time. We had placed our reporters in a way that they would hunt for reactions from the persona dramatis the moment it broke. The initial reaction was amazing. “You guys have lost it,” said one of Kalmadi’s henchmen. “A few hundred thousand pounds. Itne me toh ek hafta bhi nahi chalta. Do you think we play for loose change?” he asked.
Two days later, Kalmadi finally surfaced. He put on an air of hurt and defiance, and declared his intention to file a defamation case against our channel. He smiled at the other media, insulted our reporters publicly while referring to the channel seventeen times. He also offered himself open to ‘explosive’ interviews on other channels that often began with the penetrating question: “Mr Kalmadi, all these charges that have been levelled against you, do they have any truth?”, and included the googly: “Let me ask you, Mr Kalmadi, will you resign?” more