September 26, 2005

Media Minutes

It is the end of the year and the Delhi mediascape is an amusing mix of established players looking over their shoulders to try and see what the new kids on the block are trying to do and the new ones trying hard to give off the aura that they are up to something big. This results in interesting situations like shameless plugs on sister channels where the chief editor is plunged (unintentionally) into the cover of darkness while trying to show off the new and very dysfunctional digs and reporters running around town doing stories without a channel to air them on.

While teething trouble seems to be order of the day for the new ones, the very established NDTV has decided to put a token effort to put a new sheen on an already dull show. As a result we have new dull dreary anchors (read fresh blood) appearing on the screen, bulletin after bulletin (and appearing sometimes in some of the reports too!) and attempts by the anchors (that award goes to Vikram Chandra & Shivnath Thukral) to appear more 'animated,' which ends up with some penguin-esque flapping and other reactions that border on choking by the co-anchor in the other studio whose cue must read something like "Vikram: j/k, j/k. Shivnath: Guffaw."

But I do like the way at least one part of DNA is shaping up. Their After Hours section is a good read on most days with content that is hard to find anywhere on the other Indian rags. Since they are still in something of a 'beta' stage, the site is not full of horrendous ads and the layout is pretty clean and neat, something of a stripped version of down Times of India, which is not surprising at all since the people behind the site are pretty much the same ones. The industry really seems to consist of the same 50 people hopping around some ten places all the time. Pretty incestuous, huh?