Television

BBC World's Nisha Pillai buoyant about covering Indian elections

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/smartcrop_800x800/public/images/tv-images/2016/05/10/bbc.jpg?itok=YboCeYTx

NEW DELHI: She has interviewed Rupert Murdoch in her capacity as a business reporter and loved doing so. Doesn't have any immediate plans to switch organisations from her present stint at Beebs. And she is pretty excited to cover the Indian elections, live that is, for BBC World, which is having a special coverage session for the great democratic 'tamasha', er, process, that would culminate with the results being declared on 13 May and the unfolding of new political arithmetic.

But for Nisha Pillai it is all part of the game even if she has "to do some quick calculations" that Indian politics could throw up as emerging trends throughout Thursday unravel "various possible permutations and combinations." After all, she went on air in a certain year on 11 September on BBC World "without a script trying to make sense of everything" as very few had early clues of what was happening and would happen.

Compared to that, probably, Indian politics could be slightly more predictable.

"When the election coverage was planned in January-February, the plan was to bring extensive routine coverage, but as things are unfolding, it has turned out to be a nail biter (of an election)," Pillai says, sitting relaxed in an all-white chic cotton outfit in Beebs Delhi bureau. The traces of long distance traveling, from London to Delhi, if any, have evaporated.

After having touched down in Delhi, Pillai has been busy preparing for the live coverage over the next two days by interacting with the local bureau and journalists who have traveled the length and breadth of the country covering the general elections, spread over two months, from all possible sides, including BBC World's global perspective of having Americans speak on the Indian elections.

"With the type of rumours swirling around in Delhi at the moment (the meeting with indiantelevision.com happened on 12 May), it is really fascinating," Pillai says, pointing out that her interaction with the local bureau would prove helpful when she goes on air trying to make some sense of the unfolding scenario.

Though it may not be a situation similar to the 9/11 coverage, but Pillai wants to be as much prepared as possible.

Does she find any similarity between the Indian elections and those back home in the UK? Years of being on television (Pillai joined BBC World in 1995), some of which has been live broadcast, has taught Pillai to be a bit tactful. She avoids a direct reply to the query, but helpfully adds that the relationship between British prime minister Tony Blair and his colleague Brown has "uncanny parallels" to the relationship between Indian PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee and his colleague and deputy prime minister, LK Advani.

Even if the references to the future of Advani are oblique, the political astuteness of Pillai cannot go amiss.

However, Pillai finds that the dance of democracy in India and the way it has been conducted this time round is a lesson for other developed nations, especially the other big democracy, the United States.

"The use of EVMs (electronic voting machines) is fascinating and a lesson for the US," Pillai says, adding, "A Third World country (dubbing India a developing nation would have been more politically correct, may be) is conducting elections through electronic machines, while the US doesn't even have an election regulator."

Would Pillai hazard a guess on the outcome of the polls held recently? "No way," she laughs aloud, "I am not making any statements on the outcome." But, Pillai thinks that her arithmetic is "pretty good", which would help her do quick mental calculations on air as election results come in thick and fast. May be, Pillai's first job as a graduate trainee at Schroders Investment Bank has helped in honing this talent with vital stats.

On broader issues, Pillai feels that the Indian broadcasting scenario is "very competitive." She adds, "I am not so sure whether the print medium has transformed so much, but the broadcasting scene is fantastic and very competitive by global standards as in most issues like graphics, the standard is very high."

But ask Pillai, how would she describe the Indian elections and she comes up with an apt summation, "It's a great 'tamasha', but is also fascinating as Indians, by and large, are obsessed with politics."

Latest Reads

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/10/22/maa.jpg?itok=i996yNGM
Sun TV, Star Maa only non-Hindi GEC channels in across genre list

For the second consecutive week in a row, the Sun TV Network’s flagship Tamil GEC and Star India’s flagship Telugu GEC Star Maa were the only non-Hindi GEC channels in Broadcast Audience Research Council of India (BARC) weekly list of top 10 channels across genre.

Television TV Channels Viewership
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/10/22/net.jpg?itok=nUmDLaeP
Infotainment genre’s steady shift towards localisation

It’s home! That’s the cry that almost every broadcaster is uttering today when it comes to wooing viewers with content. Even as kids’, lifestyle and GECs are witnessing an uptake in local content, the infotainment genre isn’t going to be left behind.

Television TV Channels Specialised and Niche
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/10/20/Amazon_NEW.jpg?itok=KI9MRqO5
Amazon most advertised brand in BARC week 41

The Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) India has released its data for last week’s top advertisers and brands between 6-12 October 2018. The data is a reflection of top 10 advertiser and brands across genre on Indian television (U+R) : 2+ Individuals.

Television TV Channels Viewership
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/10/20/Marathi_BARC.jpg?itok=DUC_6K8L
No changes in Bhojpuri, Kannada, Marathi segments in BARC week 41

In the Bengali space, Jalsha Movies and Colors Bangla swapped their third and fourth positions in BARC data week 41. No changes were observed in the Bhojpuri, Kannada and Marathi segments. Moreover, Gemini TV and Zee Telugu swapped their second and third positions in the Telugu sector. Flowers TV...

Television TV Channels Viewership
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/10/20/Anil%20Ambani.jpg?itok=4eNnBDRM
Anil Ambani’s Reliance sues NDTV for Rs 10,000 cr for Rafale coverage

NDTV has been sued for Rs 10,000 crore by Anil Ambani's Reliance Group in an Ahmedabad court for its reportage on the Rafale fighter jet deal. The lawsuit is filed against NDTV's weekly show, Truth vs Hype, which aired on 29 September.

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/10/20/Arnab-Goswami.jpg?itok=HTFNEsfj
Republic TV leads English news genre in BARC week 41

Republic TV continued to lead the English news genre as per All India BARC data week 41. No changes were noticed this week in the English business news genre. Aaj Tak maintained its lead across every Hindi news genre for yet another week. Hindi news urban genre remained unchanged. Zee News dropped...

Television TV Channels Viewership
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/10/20/BARC.jpg?itok=z6etjpSh
Star Utsav bags leadership in GEC (U+R) in BARC week 41

Star Utsav and Zee Anmol swapped their first and second positions in the Hindi (U+R) genre in Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) data for week 41 of 2018. Star Plus and Big Magic exchanged their eighth and ninth positions in the rural market. Star Bharat and Sony Sab swapped their fifth and...

Television TV Channels Viewership
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/10/19/f1.jpg?itok=bHf3HxgX
Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN) extends exclusive television and digital rights partnership with ABB FIA Formula E championship

Sony Pictures Network India (SPN) will continue to broadcast each round of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship for a further two seasons across the Indian sub-continent - including India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Television TV Channels Sports
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/10/19/james.jpg?itok=kJ15Bp4y
James Gough’s innovative idea will be incubated with the intent to prototype it at Formula 1®’s Media & Technology Centre

Formula 1® Managing Director of Motorsports, Ross Brawn, and Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport Driver, Lewis Hamilton, today crowned James Gough the winner of this year’s USD $50,000 F1® Innovation Prize at the FORMULA 1 PIRELLI 2018 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX in Austin.

Television TV Channels Sports

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories