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“TV 24×7, happily, is an unequal opportunity employer. And for once that inequality needs to be applauded”: EDITOR UNPLUGGED by Vinod Mehta

April 26, 2015

The late editor salutes the rise of women in television journalism in his last book:

“Another half a cheer for current – affairs TV is due. Not so long ago, women journalists were confined to the ghetto of fashion shows, flower shows and filmi shows. In the last few decades things have improved and a few have managed to crawl out of the ghetto. However, the most spectacular rise and rise of the young woman journalist has occurred in the time of current-affairs television. A disproportionate amount of reporting, including the thankless chowkidar duty outside the minister’s house where they wait for a sound bite from dawn to dusk, is done by young female reporters in the age group of twenty-five to thirty. They do the job with great patience and good humour.

But it is not restricted to asking a neta after he has supplied the required sound bite, ‘Thank you sir, but who are you?’ The serious reporting and analysis of major events is also the domain of their seniors. If you go to the offices of TV channels you will have difficulty finding a man. It is full of women of all ages busy with their work and clearly enjoying it. I once asked a young, bright, attractive reporter if she had a boyfriend. She replied she had just broken off a relationship because it was interfering with her work. She had her priorities right. TV 24×7, happily, is an unequal opportunity employer. And for once that inequality needs to be applauded.”

I am sure Mr. Mehta would be even happier with the rise of women journalists from just monopolizing serious reporting and analysis to their dominance as anchors. May the glass ceiling go!

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