Thursday, April 22, 2010

8th Letter to Editors Guild: Coverage of Parliament

Dear Sirs,

For the past three days, members of Lok Sabha have rasied questions/discussed on topics such as supply of food grains; on promotion of commercial farming; on Somali pirates attacking our ships; on disappearances of people in police custody; on a 4 crore scam in Bihar; on the non-inclusion of Bhojpuri in the official language list; fires in farms because of the heat; on water sharing disputes; missing Indian in Afghanistan; declining ground water table; about Kendriya Vidyalaya; of the cyclone in West Bengal and Bihar; on oil spill's near our shores affecting the livelihood of fishermen; on farm credit; on oil and gas blocks.

Also longer discussions were held on Grants for Railway Ministry and the National Green Tribunal Bill. I did not know about the National Green Tribunal Bill until I heard the discussion. Now, if you are wondering that I got all this information from our media channels/newspapers - you are grossly mistaken. I had the good fortune of having found some time during office hours to listen into the live webcast on Lok Sabha website.

Not one of these topics were shown as news/breaking news on any ofthe channels. Not one of the news channels mentioned about the discussion on the National Green Tribunal Bill. Hitherto unknown MP's were brilliantly articulating many points over the past three days, and some channels were obssesed with the flair with which Shashi Tharoor spoke in the Parliament.

It is impossible to believe that TV channels could not find a 5 minute slot in the entire day, to cover the delibarations in Parliament. It is impossible to believe that newspapers couldn't find atleast half a page space to cover the deliberations in Parliament. While it is media's freedom to playback the same tape about an issue day long, doesn't it also become its responsibility to show what's happening in the Parliament?

I have tweeted as much as I could about the proceedings, but unfortunately my reach is miniscule compared to the reach the media has. As much as we love to be cynical about how our MP's disappoint us, don't they deserve better space when they actually perform as mandated by the constitution? Can the Editors Guild frame guidelines on this matter?

PS: As I write this, Lok Sabha is now discussion Demands for grants to Rural Affairs Ministry.

S. Sudhir Kumar


Umamaheshwar said...

Sudhir Sir

Excellent Work. Thats a lot for keeping us updated on Tweeter.

Sudhir said...

Thanks UmaMaheshwar. Glad it was of use :)

PS: Don't call me sir... it is a little embarassing :)

Ranganaathan said...

Sudhir i follow ur tweets n not 2 worry, they are really informative. In my routine i read the LS Q, n comeback to find answers. My coy does not allow flash, hence not able to copy them w2w. s, as u mention, media does not follow parliment,nor actual news. All the best.

Aravindan said...

Brilliant...People like you inspire us.
I just happened to read your conversation with N.Ram on a blog and stumbled upon this post.
Keep up the great work.

Jaishree said...

The irresponsible mainstream media likes to focus on what's more entertaining and what sells rather than what deserves air time. Not to mention their conspicuous biases.

It's great that you question them and remind them of their accountability. If more of us did the same we'd probably get some answers..

And is there somewhere I can find LS & RS transcripts?

Rising Gladiator said...

A reason to follow ur twits sirji!!!

Sruthi said...

hmmm... rightly said sudhir. good.

Sudhir said...

Thanks for the comments folks :) They further inspire me to continue the work!

Jaishree - Both LS and RS websites carry the full transcritps. and

- Sudhir

rachit said...

sudhir u r really one of great interned hindus!!
enjoying reading u'r blogs and tweets.

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