DailyPost 2486

Anchor is a person or thing which can relied on for support, stability, or security. You can call it the mainstay. The kernel, the spine, the bedrock, or by any other word that connotes the same meaning. A sutradhar of sorts, grounded in reality, dynamic given the nature of activity, helping in finding out an analytical new meaning. Unravelling with professional precision in the interest of society and being a check on other pillars of the ecosystem, call it democracy here. They would appear in the new avatar to deliver a show, after huge struggle, gaining expertise and experience and clarity by working for long at the ground level.

They would have the capability to the influence the masses / viewers in the interest of probity, transparency, objectivity and even the practice of virtue in a modern democracy. We are talking about the so called News Anchors, variously called as anchors. Whether they have to do something with news or not is a different story. News has been completely been given a pass. Deciding on the news and slant has been the biggest disservice to the trade, they eulogize. Presumably, a journalist becomes an anchor. Whether they need to hit the ground after getting the exalted position or not, is difficult to say. In practice it is missing. Even when they go, it ends up being ceremonial in nature.

Describing an activity or talking to some stalwarts or running a talk show from outside the studio location, more so during elections, major political events, foreign visits of head of government etc are precisely the tasks the anchors indulge in when not in studio. The studio translocated so to say. Broadly, it can be called as an office job, being on air for a specific period, with all the support of research / production and other teams tasked to make possible the seamless telecast. The whole exercise aimed at TRPs and consequently attract advertisements. Glamour is being attached to it, to an extent that they themselves declare themselves as models and celebrities. The channels advertise them.

The country is at its wits end to decide whether this is journalism or new profession that has come into being. The tasks of journalists we are familiar with, from search of facts, truth, evidence, creating a story, narrative, revelations et al. Journalistic output have thrown governments our of gear and have brought to light, things which were meticulously covered. They are the watchdogs and sentinels of the system, ready to take the flak and risk even their lives, if need be. The investigations can be as excruciating as in the case of Snowden, Pegasus revelations, Panama papers etc. The international collaboration of journalists, with the level of confidentiality, and precision of investigation has to be seen to be believed. India needs to learn.

Sanjay Sahay

Have a nice evening.

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