Who is to blame for panelists walking out of news debates

In the past several panelists have simply walked out of debates when debating was no longer possible.

Written by Kanishka Singh | New Delhi | Updated: October 4, 2016 8:22 pm
Mita Vashisht, Actress Mita Vashisht , Bollywood Actress Mita Vashisht , India, Pakistan, Pakistani actors, debate on pak actors, Arnab Goswami show, Mita Vashisht walks out of the show, panelists, Surgical strikes, uri attack, terrorism, India TV news debate, panelists leaving shows, India news, indian express news Actress Mita Vashisht walked out of a news debate during a discussion on the ouster of Pakistani artistes from India after tension between India and Pakistan increased. (File photo)

Actors Om Puri and Mita Vashisht recently walked out of a news debate during a discussion on the ouster of Pakistani artistes from India after tension between India and Pakistan increased following a spree of terrorist attacks in Jammu and Kashmir.

This incidents raise two conflicting arguments — either the TV debates have turned too targeted and certain moderators do not allow significant chance for panelists to put their point across or panelists are at a fault for walking out when they know they are in for a sharp and competitive debate.

WATCH VIDEO: Police Complaint Against Actor Om Puri For Allegedly Insulting Jawans

Indian TV news debates have become imbalanced where the moderator pushes an argument rather than allowing different viewpoints to prevail over each other and panelists who are supposed to fight for their argument indecorously walk out.

The debates filled with jingoistic outbursts are unlike anything that can be called an ideal debate ought to be, nonetheless, it catches the fancy of a huge audience that religiously follows them. This audience relates their frustration with the lambasting anchor and draws a certain satisfaction when that anchor corners a person from an authority position or the creme of the society. The trend often bears witness to walkouts from panelists who just give up when they are not able to counter the moderator on their repeated cross questioning.

To be fair, the panelists are also not unaware about what they are in for; they know the format and that they are participating in a sharp and competitive debate where a loose argument won’t cut it. For years we have been witnessing the same panelists reappearing on the same channels fighting with the same TV anchors for not allowing them ‘enough time’ to speak. Also, the same TV anchors have been aggressively cornering panelists for stonewalling during debates.

In the past several panelists have simply walked out of debates when debating was no longer possible. The list includes the likes of Kiran Bedi, BJP member Nupur Sharma and several Kashmiri separatists. The argument is simple. Make TV news debates more participative and don’t participate if you know you can’t counter the host.

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  1. A
    Ares Roy
    Oct 5, 2016 at 4:47 am
    Yet CNN News18, IBN-7 and TIMES NOW are the most appreciated TV news channels among Indian citizens ... check statistics and data ...because they expose hypocrites in front of nation ................ haters gonna hate... who cares.
    Reply
    1. C
      Chander Pal
      Oct 4, 2016 at 7:15 am
      Playing the part is so easy. Living the part is not only difficult, it involves decisions like do I give preference to 'Pradhan, Nishan, Vidhan'.
      Reply
      1. M
        MyTake
        Oct 4, 2016 at 9:28 am
        Congress could rule only because there were plenty with very low self esteem in every walk of life!
        Reply
        1. M
          MyTake
          Oct 4, 2016 at 9:27 am
          These are India's very own non state actors!!
          Reply
          1. S
            Sane Indian
            Oct 4, 2016 at 8:11 am
            Mita Vashist was drunk and showed an evil side of her character, felt as if she was God, Renuka Shagane was shocked by Mita's behaviour that Renuka was in tears..these Mita's are malignant tumors of Bollywood
            Reply
            1. S
              Sane Indian
              Oct 4, 2016 at 8:13 am
              Nope send them to LOC where there is landmines
              Reply
              1. D
                Diplomat
                Oct 4, 2016 at 10:48 am
                Debate, Discussion or just one-way verbal torture?
                Reply
                1. A
                  Arun Chaudhary
                  Oct 4, 2016 at 8:11 am
                  Observation is absolutely correct but how do you change this. Anchor will not change as he has promised that his programme will go on till his life.He need to change his panelists for credibility.
                  Reply
                  1. A
                    Arunkumar Haridas
                    Oct 4, 2016 at 8:45 am
                    PERSON WHO WRITTEN THIS ARTICLE ALSO PARTIAL AND AGAINST ARNAB.... JEALOUS
                    Reply
                    1. A
                      Ashish
                      Oct 4, 2016 at 7:40 am
                      Debates are often hostile anywhere and everywhere. If the individual lacks courage of conviction must walk out. Better debate without them.
                      Reply
                      1. A
                        Ajeet
                        Oct 9, 2016 at 3:24 am
                        TRUE
                        Reply
                        1. B
                          Barb Dewyre
                          Oct 4, 2016 at 12:16 pm
                          If people invited for panel discussions are not aware of the "eccentricities" of the moderator and choose to appear on the show regardless then best of luck to them. Arnab Goswami's Newshour has to be renamed Opinionhour. Hold a view contrary to his, you will be shouted down, insulted, ridiculed and left with no choice but to walkout of the show. Sometimes I wonder why would anyone be a glutton for punishment unless one is being paid to appear on the show and take all that abuse. Goswami is so shamelessly pro BJP that one can easily predict his stand on the issue he is going to "discuss" that night. If there are statistics available, his show would easily have the maximum number of walkouts. But then this may be his only way to a Padma award before 2019.
                          Reply
                          1. R
                            Raj
                            Oct 4, 2016 at 7:19 am
                            Arnab Goswami is the sole reason why Indian journalism has come to this level today. Just because someone is a martyr's son or ex army personnel does not have the right to insult anyone. They may disagree with one's views but cannot gang up against them.
                            Reply
                            1. D
                              Damaru Prasad
                              Oct 4, 2016 at 11:37 am
                              I Imean keep Shekhar Gupta and N Ram out of such shows.
                              Reply
                              1. D
                                Damaru Prasad
                                Oct 4, 2016 at 11:35 am
                                Please will somebody ( could it be e Mr Modi?) stop these nonsense so called shows? It would be better though it the shows are conducted with independent journalists as panelists and let them analyse for people. Of course keep guys like Shekhar Gupta and N Ram who are Rahul hi of Indian journalism. Oh yes by all means keep politicians out of it. They pauperize India but are still out of jail and leading!!
                                Reply
                                1. M
                                  Muzammil Shaikh
                                  Oct 4, 2016 at 7:31 am
                                  Journalist like Arnab has made the Indian Media a joke. He does not know how to behave an keep lecturing people to behave on his show. It seems he needs a mentoring on morality rather pointing others on it.
                                  Reply
                                  1. N
                                    NArayan
                                    Oct 4, 2016 at 7:24 am
                                    just tell them they'd be paid more if they sit through the entire debate and get shouted at by moderators, panelists and audience...if not all, film guys/gals would agree..
                                    Reply
                                    1. N
                                      NArayan
                                      Oct 4, 2016 at 7:24 am
                                      just tell them they'd be paid more if they sit through the entire debate and get shouted at by moderators, panelists and audience...if not all, film guys/gals would agree..
                                      Reply
                                      1. I
                                        Indiana Jones
                                        Oct 4, 2016 at 8:52 am
                                        Arnab goswami is an immature rabble rouser who has this 'my way or highway' atude. He plays to the gallery by playing up por pions and prejudices. A worthless programme, not worthy of its mention here.
                                        Reply
                                        1. R
                                          rak g
                                          Oct 4, 2016 at 9:30 am
                                          he is not immature, infact he is quite dangerous. In upa years it was quite understandable that public was frustrated with corruption and his channel reporting was infact quite laudable. But with NDA it has become more of questioning the opposition, he seems to be sitting in modis lap. above all his hyper nationalism in journalism has killed basic logic in journalistic ethics which is freedom of expression, any person posing a counter view to his opinion is simply called anti national or asked if a soldier died for him to say this !! i mean argument simply dies there, to draw analogy he would have questioned hiji for calling quit india movement since 2.5 million indians had voluntarily joined army to defend the world from fascism(as britsh called it)
                                          Reply
                                          1. T
                                            TTSP
                                            Oct 4, 2016 at 12:29 pm
                                            Arna Goswami is a respected on the box. Period.
                                            Reply
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