तन के दो बटन ज्यादा खोलो, तीन गुनी तनख्वाह खाओ

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मिंट अखबार में इसके एडिटर आर. सुकुमार का आज एक लेख छपा है. इसमें उन्होंने बिजनेस न्यूज चैनलों की महिला एंकरों के छाती दिखाऊ ट्रेंड पर काफी कुछ बताया है. कैसे एक एंकर अपनी टीशर्ट के उपरी दो बटन खोलने के लिए तीन गुना सेलरी लेती है. कैसे एंकर का चयन करते समय इस बात का ध्यान रखा जाता है कि उसके स्तन बड़े हों... कैसे मीडिया अब चमड़ी की दीवानी होती जा रही है.... पढ़िए सुकुमार का लेख...

A media obsession

-R. Sukumar-

: I know some women anchors on business channels. Many of them are smart -- or are on their way to getting there -- and I can’t believe they agree to go along with on-the-edge wardrobe suggestions put forth by their producers :

Cleavage,” he said.

I thought I hadn’t heard him clearly.

He sensed my question even before I asked it.

Big ones, he said, moving his hands out till they were at least 10 inches in front of his chest.

I didn’t want to get technical, so I didn’t point out the obvious, that there was a difference between the two things he had described. His meaning was clear, though. The person, who worked for a business news channel, was telling me why the channel had hired a certain anchor for its morning stock market show.

I didn’t want to hear more though my friend from the channel seemed keen to share with me the unsavoury specifics of what day traders and brokers do when they watch business news channels.

I didn’t pay much heed to what he said till another person, from another business news channel, told me the same story.

She got three times her current salary, for agreeing to leave the top two buttons of her shirt unbuttoned, he said, referring to an anchor who had recently switched channels.

I have more or less reproduced their words as I remember them from our conversations, and I apologize if I have offended the sensibilities of some readers of this paper. Mint remains a family paper.

I was reminded of these conversations in the wake of the coverage papers and channels devoted to Hina Rabbani Khar, the photogenic foreign minister of Pakistan. Even by the standards of the near-saturation coverage any visit by a Pakistani foreign minister to this country receives, this was a bit much.

So, is the media obsessed with looks?

The simple answer to that is: Yes, a lot.

Is the media obsessed with shows of skin?

Yes, a lot.

You do not need to possess an IQ of 130 to figure this out; a casual perusal of newspapers, including some large English-language ones, will throw up a bunch of pictures of women who must be perennially cold given their dress sense, and used entirely out of context. A similar casual run-through of television channels will show, in many channels, young women dressed for a night out and reading the news.

There are some media companies that do not do this. Since this column is, at one level, all about losing friends and offending people, I am going to go ahead and name the good ones. I have not seen any of NDTV’s channels do this, nor Times Now and CNN-IBN. And the business channels are the worst offenders.

Why would they do this?

(Sorry, silly question; let me try again)

A senior editor at a popular US business channel once told me that his company had a simple rule for women anchors: high necks; comfortable hems.

Then, India isn’t the US (although I still can’t understand how respectable media companies can indulge in blatantly exploitative behaviour).

I know some women anchors on business channels. Many of them are smart—or are on their way to getting there—and I can’t believe they agree to go along with on-the-edge wardrobe suggestions put forth by their producers.

After all, you don’t find the men anchoring shows on these channels modelling themselves on actor Hrithik Roshan (the word button probably doesn’t exist in his vocabulary). They are all uniformly dressed soberly, in dark suits, plain shirts and boring ties.

The morning slot is an important one for business channels. Their viewership peaks between 9 and 11 in the morning and then tapers off before peaking, although not to the same level as the morning, in mid-afternoon, around the time the stock markets close. Their viewership also witnesses a small spike, lower than both peaks, in the evening, for prime-time business news. The programming on all channels remains the same during market hours, a mix of stock tips, market moving news, and interviews with in-house or external experts (some of whom are of dubious integrity, but that’s a different story).

Most viewers watch these channels with the mute function engaged; they are interested in the tickers and the stock charts, not what the anchor is saying. And as any level-headed financial adviser will tell anyone who cares to listen, most business channels are aimed at day traders and punters, not long-term investors (shameless plug: read Mint’s personal finance section, Mint Money, for that).

Under the circumstances, it isn’t surprising that the channels choose to differentiate themselves on the basis of how their female anchors look. It isn’t surprising but, in my book at least, it isn’t condonable.

Comments (12)Add Comment
written by rahul raj, October 10, 2011
paiso ke liye koi kuch bhi kar sakta hai fir chahe news channel ho ya unki news padhne wali anchor.smilies/tongue.gif
written by Shailendra verma, September 13, 2011
Media Ko Asi Gandagi Se Door Rahana Chahiye Warna Media Ka Bhavisha Andhakaarmay Hai
written by seema , August 14, 2011
jab kabar me who dikaya jata hai jo janta dekhti hai to anchor ke dikhane me kya problum hai.....mera to suggestion hai agar do button kholne se trp badti hai to 2 button kholo per news sensable dikho.....sahi dikhao.....socity ke haq me dikhao.....journalism ko zinda karne per dhyan de janab....socity apne aap thik ho jayegi.....chote kapde aur khule button to aaj kal mall me dikh jate hai.....uske liye cable per paisa kyu kharche
written by jasvinder singh sabharwal, August 05, 2011
written by Deepak, August 02, 2011
Sir Ye pratha sirf media main he nahi har field main hai aap jahaan jaaoge vahaan par yahi sab paaoge. aisi ladkiyon kaa kya imaan dharam hoga.

written by ravinder, August 02, 2011
chati dikhane per he job milti hai... nd night stand per permotion.
written by Sonu Upadhyay, August 02, 2011
Although its not the big Wonder. even the same problem is facing by hindi news channel. I am the employee of one business news website and our profile is tracking b. news channel and uploading the tips. we daily seeing the same things. what kind of mentality is that, can not be understood. I think these are all channel has gone mentally corrupt. well said and better observation by editor...
written by Pradeep Kr. Raghav, August 02, 2011
Well, said...Female Anchors have become show pieces in several media houses..Wake up viewers...take interest in news, not in anchors...
written by rupaliraj, August 01, 2011
isse yah jahir hota hai ki log aaj bhi mahila ko upbhog ki vstu smajhtne hai. jab mediya ka yah hal hai to anya chetron ka kay hoga iska andaja sahj hee lagaya ja skta hai.
written by pankajpati, August 01, 2011
stan badey hongey aur 2 button bhi khulengey hongey tabhi to TRP aayegi,yahi sach hai
written by varun panwar, August 01, 2011
bilkul sahi likha hi bhai......................
written by Harishankar Shahi, August 01, 2011
If this type of work will continue then we shall definitely announce one day "sad demises of media work in channels".

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