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.

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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
    2. 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
    3. 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
          2. 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
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