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Witty and gritty

books Updated: Jun 19, 2010 02:00 IST
Sonal Kalra
Sonal Kalra
Hindustan Times
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Title: Braking News
Author: Sunetra Chaudhury
Publisher: Hachette Price: Rs 350

There are many books by journalists which give a vivid account of the challenges faced in the call of duty but, they are normally not ‘fun’. This gap is precisely what Braking News by Sunetra Chaudhury fills. It’s a candid account of a nationwide journey that Sunetra and her colleague at NDTV, Naghma, undertook on a bus during the May 2009 general elections. Penned in a beautifully tongue-in-cheek witty tone, the book offers an insight into the world of a TV news reporter, deemed glamorous from a distance by many.

Facing hardships ranging from handling tantrum-throwing politicos to praying for a clean loo every morning, the girls embark on the journey of a lifetime, and the narrative brilliantly captures what they go through, travelling from state to state with bare essentials and a miniscule crew. Through incidents narrated in short, crisp sentences and anecdotes that sometimes border on hilarious, the book also captures the essence of life in small-town India. A highly recommended read for aspiring TV journalists and anyone who wants to get a behind the scenes insight into election coverage by the media in India.