Thank you for voting in the India Idiot Box Survey. Thanks especially to the tweeple who retweeted my tweet in which I solicited participation.
I was inspired to host this survey when I read that a certain TV channel polled 158 unnamed “opinion makers” to predict the political future of India. Then the thought occurred to me: “What the heck! I got lots more than 158 opinion-makers on Twitter! Why not tap into that rich opinion-maker database and stage my own poll?”
I was pleased with this idea, reckoning that those 158 opinion-makers would in all humility agree that they are no greater opinion-makers than any Tom Cruise, Dick Tracy or Harry Potter. I mean, which intellectual would be crass enough to claim that his is bigger than yours, speaking of intellect? It’s a pity they didn’t vote in this survey though; but I’ll make it a point to ask for their valuable opinion as soon as their names are disclosed.
The survey results came as a big shock to me. I always thought that India’s English language TV news channels were the greatest invention since garlic bread. I have the highest regard for them. I watch them only rarely because I have this gnawing feeling within me that I don’t deserve them. Yet, the survey results contradicted my expectations. People trashed news channels with a violence and vehemence they would normally reserve for Himesh Reshamiya’s vocals.
147 people voted in all, but unfortunately, I can only see the results of the first 100 votes, because I am not a “Pro” member of SurveyMonkey. Thank you once again.
1. If you are asked for your well-considered opinion of India’s English language TV stations, you would state it as:
|Without exception, they are all compost material||
|Yeah, they all suck, but some suck a bit less than the others||
|I agree one or two of them are actually watchable!||
|They rock. I’d watch them every single waking moment if I could, even if people think I’m a moron||
2. In your opinion, Eng-lang news channels are the best source of:
|Air-headed punditry that’s of junk value||
|Much unwanted opinion that the anchor person can’t resist offering||
|Basement bargains in pious platitudes||
|Breaking news on Rakhi Sawant||
|News, believe it or not!||
3. If Eng-lang news channels and cartoon channels are all that your cable company gives you, you would:
|feel spoiled for choice||
|watch cartoon channels and laugh||
|watch news channels and laugh||
|watch news channels for information and enlightenment||
4. Your perspective on the integrity and incorruptibility of Eng-lang news channels is best summarized as:
|A wall lizard has a better value system than any of them||
|Like political parties, they are generally corrupt, with a few honorable exceptions||
|They are paragons of virtue; when the signature tune comes on, I feel like standing up in a gesture of worship||
5. How credible are Eng-lang news channels when it comes to reporting news with high political or business stakes?
|I have more faith in Satyam’s ex-CEO than any of these news channels||
|They blurt out the truth at times, when they are excessively excited even more excessively than they usually are||
|I must admit that sometimes they tell the truth matter-of-factly, however improbable that may seem||
|I trust them because the industry is filled with desi Murrows, Menckens, Woodwards and Bernsteins.||0.0%||0|
6. When a biz channel gives a stock tip to buy, you:
|Sell the scrip immediately, at market price — no limit, no stop-loss, no nothing||
|Sell at opening bell and buy on closing, because many TV-watching suckers are born in between||
|Won’t take the advice at face value; but won’t necessarily suspect that the channel is ripping me off either||
|Buy immediately, because you know, Woodwards and Bernsteins etc||0.0%||0|
7. Do you think Eng-lang new channels are trying to manipualte your voting/political preferences?
|I have a feeling that all news channels are polling agents of one political party or the other… well, of one certain political party at any rate||
|Most of them are brazenly delivering puff jobs for their favorite political parties and hatchet jobs for the rival parties||
|Maybe they are not exactly screaming “vote for this party!” in my ears, but they sure are sending subliminal messages||
|Not at all. They are great lovers of democracy; some people mistake that love for love of political parties, that’s all||0.0%||0|
8. Which of the following statements best capture(s) the talent and competency of Eng-Lang News channels?
|Studio persons and field reporters can yak-yak non-stop, even when answering questions that can be answered with a simple yes or no||
|They can yak-yak even when they are as clueless about what’s going on as their viewers are!||
|The 20-somethings may look likes babes in the woods (some of them indeed are babes if you know what I mean) but they out-yak-yak the senior talking heads.||
|They emote a lot like in the movies: you can hear voices choke, see eyes water and the hands holding the mike tremble. They care so much!||
|Their prime-time programs cover all important stories of the day objectively and professionally, so I need look nowhere else for news and information (and yes, I share the same planet as you do and I smoke nothing strong)||
9. What gives you the impression that Eng-Lang news channels are (or attempt to be) professional?
|The news people wear western business suits, so I think they think that ought to impress the yokels||
|They try to speak English with the “right” accent. That reveals a subconscious yearning to sound professional||
|Their signature music is grand and impressive, kind of like BBC’s or CNN’s, so I think they intend to mean business||
|They got all the whiz-bang gadgetry, you know, OB vans, choppers, huge screens and stuff?||
|They deliver news crisply and intelligently, with no more words than are necessary, yet covering all essential detail, so they are professional (and I’m not kidding you see? So wipe that stupid incredulous expression off your face)||
10. Overall, India’s Eng-Lang channels deserve:
|Grade A, because they are consistently professional, objective, and credible||0.0%||0|
|Grade B, because though they may slip up once in a while, they generally try to be professional, objective and credible.||
|Grade C, because they manage to be professional, objective and credible half the time!||
|Grade D, because they pleasantly surprise viewers once in a long while by turning out a professional, objective and credible performance||
|Grade F, because India will be better off for it if these biased and incompetent dingbats closed shop and went home||