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'Print journos are like militants'

Cyrus Broacha tells Kshama Rao about his new role as an anchor on CNN-IBN and present day journalism.

india Updated: Nov 10, 2006 17:33 IST
Kshama Rao (HT Style)
Kshama Rao (HT Style)

Cyrus Broacha takes umbrage when you ask him if he reads Page 3 when he opens a newspaper every morning.

He says in mock anger: “Please don’t ever say that I read it first thing in the morning. In fact I am Page 4 and after. Not just me but my entire family are major sports fans, so sports it is for us. Even if I reach at 2 in the morning and if a cricket tournament has been on, then my father opens the door and updates me with the score card in his half-sleepy staccato voice.”

But Broacha is neither sleeping nor serious when he presents all that happened in the week in politics, sports, entertainment and general news in CNN-IBN’s irreverent, spoofy show, The Week That Wasn’t (Saturdays, 10.30 pm).

Ask him if he prefers print or TV media and he says: “Much as I would like to say print, I’d say TV because you can make up stories better on TV and lampoon just about anything and everything. Do you think this show would have been possible a few years ago? We would have probably been arrested for poking fun at our politicians but I guess we are reaping the fruits of liberalization, because most of them realise that what we do is not without any malice.”

So which news headlines had him smiling in recent times, possibly in frustration?

“Oh just about anything that newspapers carry on reality shows like Nach Baliye. Every day they break new, hard-hitting stories, no?” he says wryly.

His favourite news anchors? “I have to say Rajdeep Sardesai because he signs my cheques.”

The criteria for becoming a news anchor today he says are “Basic intelligence, an interest in everything and lipstick. Seriously, even men have to wear different coloured lipstick today when they are reporting different kinds of stories."

"Today TV reporting is in, so much so that anybody could just do it for a few years, earn their moolah and then get out looking for a serious job!”

Print journalists, on the other hand, says Broacha “are like militants — at least they were like that without the weapons in the days when I would visit my aunt, a journalist, Olga Tellis, at Anand Bazaar Patrika and would be s*** scared sitting there looking at the kind of stories they would talk about. "

"And maybe that’s when I told myself I would never be a journalist.”

Will he join politics? “At one point I was contemplating because my mother had assured me of her vote but now even she has begun to have her doubts.”

Finally, why would he recommend people to watch his show? “Well, I wouldn’t. May be you can watch it if your marriage is crumbling or if you are a child below seven and can’t reach the remote control but are stuck watching it.” So that’s Cyrus Broacha with his brand of humour.

First Published: Nov 07, 2006 13:18 IST