03 October 2010

A Management Tactic at the Ayodhya Verdict

There was something interesting that I observed on the 30th September 2010 when the Ayodhya verdict was given by the Allahabad High Court.

I left office early that day and reached home at around 2pm. I usually loathe news channels, especially Hindi ones. (Do I need to give a reason other than sensationalism?) And amongst the English ones, I stick to CNN-IBN first, simply because of Mr. Rajdeep Sardesai, and then Times Now or NDTV. And apart from these three, I feel no other general news channel actually deserves to be called a news channel. They are not even 'views' channel, for Christ's sake!

On switching on the TV, I straight away jumped to CNN-IBN and was not surprised to see Mr. Rajdeep Sardesai heading the show. As the verdict was not out I started my channel surfing. (being a human male, we're used to channel surfing just to know 'what's there on the other channel?') 

And then something struck me! All the others news (views) channels had their correspondents on the field, especially at the Allahabad court, but CNN-IBN didn't have a correspondent. They had their channel's 'National Bureau Chief', a certain Mr. Bhupendra Chaubey on the field!  

Why? I got the answer as soon as the verdict was out and the lawyer brigade emerged from the 'super secured' court room. Mr. Ravi Shankar Prasad representing one of the party to the dispute, was the first famous and qualified person to emerge from the court room, he was hounded by camera crews with his face almost shoved with microphones! (nothing new I'm sure) Every media person was stoning him with adulterated and cliche`d questions, but there stood Mr. Chaubey, with a blazer on, in the heat, asking some really simple but relevant question to him with his loud non baritone voice. And voila, Mr. Ravi Shankar Prasad, answers him by calling his first name. And for the next 10 minutes, it's only Mr. Chaubey and Mr. Prasad in a dialogue covered by the entire national media. 

And Mr. Chaubey repeats the feat with other 'important' guests.

This was the differentiation tactic that CNN-IBN employed. If its an issue of national importance to be covered by each and every media house of the country, send your Generals, not the pawns!

And as usual Mr. Rajdeep Sardesai had a very eminent panel for the show, a social scientist, a Supreme Court lawyer, a liberal Muslim theatre veteran Padma Shree awardee and a very senior journalist. They were all very well versed of the Ayodhya issue. 

I think this was a very good management tactic ployed by the channel. 


Awaiting your comments. 


  1. That was really smart. I hadn't realized that.

  2. well i missed d news channel's drama...coz i had came home tired fighting another battle! *Phew*

    Nice blog Mr. Ayyubi....liked the way u analyse things.......nw wenever ppl wud discuss CNN-IBN channel's strategy i can act as if i know everything or best i can start tellin ppl abt it *m smart, ain't i?*

    n yes i learned hw to post comment, dats y i wrote a tad too long comment......:P

  3. well the place outside looked more like a rat colony welcoming the "soldier rats" who got the swiss cheese....
    the amount of hysteria that gripped the entire nation was nothing but mere hype by the media, right frm the unnecessary warnings of riots to mis-interpretations of statements given by politicians and ordinary ppl alike...
    ppl like India TV went to the extent of asking a roadside baba with a parrot of the outcome...and in the next show had rakhi sawant with baba ramdev giving their comments on the verdict...

  4. @Mihir: Can't help noticing things like these, I remember you once mentioned that I have an eye for trivia. Guess this was one of those times!

    @Shagufta: Yes, I grant you the right to use the above example at any of your lectures in college. And I hope you keep coming to read more :)

    @Amit: See. That's why I mentioned above, these other channels like "Live India" are views channels and not new channels. What I suggest you is that you should watch such channels for entertainment only.