ratings

The do-good show

Has public service broadcasting returned to Indian television? When Ashok Kumar began appearing with his public service messages at the end of every Hum Log episode in 1984, he was adapting the model of Mexican telenovellas that couched family-planning messages within entertainment. No one paid much attention to the preachy messages but the elder statesman […..]

TELEVISION OF PASSION

As one legal case in Mumbai sets aflame India’s TV screens, another one that is collapsing in New York offers interesting comparisons. The case against former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn virtually disintegrated, for all practical purposes, on the same day as the decision by Mumbai Sessions Court judge N W Chandwani to rule Maria Susairaj […..]

Making Ravans on TV

What is wrong with Indian television? The day before the India-Pakistan game, one news channel ran a blaring day-long promo with the headline, ‘Lanka mein Ravan vadh’ with Dhoni being depicted as Ram and Shahid Afridi as a ten-headed Pakistani monster. All right, George Orwell once argued that sport is ‘war minus the shooting’ but […..]

The great Indian Willow Trick: Cricket, nationalism and India’s TV news revolution, 1998–2005

Abstract The emergence of India as the financial and spiritual heart of world cricket in the 1990s is intrinsically linked to India’s satellite TV revolution in the same period. The 1990s began with just one Indian television channel – the state owned Doordarshan – but by 2006, Indian viewers were remote-controlling their way through more […..]