Vir Sanghvi, in 'The medium is the mess' (Counterpoint, December 14), has raised several valid points that should be noted by the media. I recently spent five months in the US and saw how the electronic media there invited celebrities and non-celebrities to dissect every word uttered by the presidential candidates. Barack Obama's visits to Europe and Afghanistan were discussed threadbare. While the financial bailout was being debated in the US Senate, senators discussed the issue with the media. No one found anything objectionable in that.
I was thrilled with the electronic media coverage of the siege of Mumbai. As one who has spent 28 years in the print medium, I say with confidence that our electronic media have come of age and are comparable with the best. Yes, they made mistakes, but I am sure they will learn from those.
V Balasubramanian, Mumbai
I agree with the need for self-regulation by the media. The media will not deny that a code of conduct is necessary because it plays an important role - and one that has both positive and negative effects on society. The broadcast of certain scenes during the Mumbai attacks helped terrorists plan. The government needs to regulate the media's functions, but it would be better if the media collaborate in this task.
JPN Agrawal, New Delhi
Television is a powerful medium and those in charge of it should refrain from misusing the power. It must not be used to fan hysteria and jeopardise the safety of people, as happened during the coverage of the Mumbai terror attacks. It seems that some TV personalities have started harbouring delusions about their own wisdom. If the media cannot exercise restraint, the government should definitely impose restrictions on them.
Raniana Manchanda, New Delhi
The media did a splendid job. Thanks to the live coverage, the nation got the real picture of the tragedy and the role of the security forces. It was because of this coverage that the people felt an outrage against terrorists and politicians. This sentimental upsurge has united the nation. Had the media been barred from coverage, the people would have never got the true picture. So, let's please give the media their due. Yes, the points about organised media briefings, public relations protocols and a unified command are valid.
Madhu R.D. Singh, Ambala
Sheila all the way
Regarding Karan Thapar's 'Well done, Mrs' (Sunday Sentiments, December 14), Vijay Malhotra was not the right candidate against Sheila Dikshit. There was no anti-incumbency factor in Delhi this time. If the BJP had projected any other charismatic leader, it might have influenced the outcome. But there was no better option to Dikshit. Though the BJP tried to politicise the Mumbai attacks, the people of Delhi did not fall for it.
Anjan Kumar Samal, New Delhi