... Despite the 24x7 presence of TV cameras, the daily protests in favour of reservation by AIIMS doctors and staff under the banner of `Medicos Forum for Equal Opportunities' were virtually blacked out. One channel showed the counter-protest last Sunday only when a `citizen journalist' presented it with footage he had shot. Often, it was impossible to separate the breathless TV reporters from the anti-reservation doctors they were reporting about. The insensitive and casteist forms of protest some of them adopted — the `symbolic' sweeping of streets, the shining of shoes, the singing of songs warning OBCs and others to `remember their place' (`apni aukat mein rahio') — were put on air without comment by the channels. Nobody asked what kind of doctors these `meritorious' students were likely to become if they had such contempt towards more than half the population of India. ...
I also remember seeing, on a different CNN-IBN program, the other thing that he mentions: "songs warning OBCs and others to `remember their place'". It was truly atrocious; they actually showed four young men singing one of these songs. Since my Hindi is not great, I first assumed that these striking medicos were just having fun! My bemuseement turned into horror when the reporter translated the song (which essentially said, "know your place, and stay there") -- and the reporter didn't even bother to comment on the kind of garbage she showed to the viewers. Neither did the anchors.
Siddharth goes on to talk about the need for diversity within the news organizations. Some of the statistics he provides are quite revealing. As they say, read the whole thing.
* * *
On a not-entirely-unrelated note, do read this post by Cosmic Voices accusing The Hindu (where Varadarajan is a deputy editor) of bias in its selection of letters it published in the 'Letters to the Editor' section immediately after Arjun Singh made his first move. In comments, this blogger also points to the shift in the Hindu's stance within a short time after that!