News channels gear up for general election endgame

MUMBAI: The 2009 General Elections has been the focal point for all news channels this season. And now with the high voltage drama finally drawing towards its closing lap, news broadcasters are all gearing up to capture the ultimate destiny of the counting fate come 16 May.

Every broadcaster will begin the day with the ‘live’ coverage of the counting process and provide audiences with regular updates on the results as the day proceeds.

In an attempt to come out with a comprehensive analysis on the poll results, English news channel Times Now will organise a discussion panel comprising political experts while NDTV 24X7 and NDTV India has lined up special guests for the same.

The Times Now panel will include Outlook editor-in-chief Vinod Mehta, senior journalist Swapan Dasgupta, Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, The Telegraph Delhi editor Manini Chatterjee, roving editor Sankarshan Thakur, commentator Nalini Singh, DNA political editor Javed Ansari, Mahesh Rangarajan, The Economic Times consulting editor Swaminathan Aiyar, New Indian Express news editor Neerja Chowdhry, DNA senior editor Arati Jerath, Times of India senior editor Shankar Raghuraman and Times Group editorial advisor Gautam Adhikari, along with Goswami and political editor Navika Kumar.

NDTV 24X7 and NDTV India will begin with the live coverage of the ‘D‘ day from 6 am onwards and will bring forward an integration of television and web, giving its viewers a platform to chat live with anchors all day. Prannoy Roy, Barkha Dutt, Vikram Chandra and Sreenivasan Jain will answer questions from across the country on live webchat.

On CNN IBN, Rajdeep Sardesai, Diptosh Majumdar, Sagarika Ghose, Yogendra Yadav, Nandan Nilekani, Lord Meghnad Desai, Ramachandra Guha, Karan Thapar, Dileep Padgaonkar, P Sainath, Inder Malhotra and Fareed Zakaria will take an in-depth look at every movement in the last phase of the elections. The channel plans to track down every vote counted on the counting day.

IBN7 will go on air with 7RCR Ki Race on 16 May where IBN7’s editorial team along with political experts and publications editors will do an extensive analysis on the post-poll developments across the Indian political arena right till the government is formed. The panel of experts on IBN7 includes Sharvan Garg of Dainik Bhaskar, Vishnu Tripathi of Dainik Jagran, Alok Joshi of Nai Duniya and psephologist Yogendra Yadav.

NewsX’s reportage, meanwhile, will include the result analysis along with post poll alliance conjectures by experts and psephologists including political analyst Syed Naqvi, Jai Mrug, former CEC TS Krishnamurthy, WSJ’s Paul Beckett, former IPS officer Kiran Bedi, Capt. Gopinath, Fortune Magazine’s John Eliot, political analyst Madhav Nalpat, TR Ramchandran, Alok Mehta, Shankar Roychodhary, constitutional expert Subhash Kashyap, Tughlak editor Cho Ramaswamy and actor Kabir Bedi.

On 17 May NewsX will telecast a special two-hour show Scramble for Power, comparing all media Exit Polls and Post Poll scenarios.

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