Doordarshan’s golden rules of Ol-u-mpics coverage

BY hoot| IN Media Practice | 17/08/2008
Phelps at the pool? Then DD will be at the handball prelims. You can bet a gold on that.
The HOOT deconstructs our national broadcaster’s special genius.

1.      Never show the action if you can help it. But tell us all about it out of either your Delhi studio or that  embarrassing thing with purple chairs and Chinese moppets that they¿ve set up in Beijing.


2.      Bring in an ad just when an event is in its final moments. Come back to a priceless shot of a tt table with two bats lying on it, after the match has ended.


3.      Go off to another event when the one being covered  is reaching its climax. Just when Nadal is about to win a set in tennis, you go off to show some table tennis.


4.      Wear the ghastliest ties you can find.


5.      Spend five minutes gravely telling the athlete you are interviewing, just what he has achieved. As with boxing quarter finalist Jitender. Just in case he didn¿t know.


6.      Take the oldest, most untelegenic male commentators you can find and put them air (from Beijing, no less) to do the whole week¿s recap. By telling, of course, not showing.


7.      Choose the most boring match of the day and stick with it to the end. If it¿s a riveting one, switch at all enthralling moments to something else.


8.       Someone about to win a gold? Go off to an ad. Return to Delhi studio.


9.      Make Saina Sania. Ki pharak painda?


10.  Phelps at the pool? Then DD will be at the handball prelims. You can bet a gold on that.


       (Readers are invited to add to this list. Write us at



Rachna Burman responded to our invitation to add to the golden rules list.


11. Hold forth for half and hour on the previous day¿s results that every newspapers had already covered in the morning, then turn to the other anchor who will repeat the same thing in Hindi.


 12. Keep the same scroll running for 48 hours --not on the latest results, the medals tally or the schedule of events that everyone was dying to know-- but on who the youngest sportspersons at the O-lum-pics were. It went on for 48 hours, honest.


 13. When every news channel in India was breaking the rules to use that coveted action feed, air a documentary on the media canteen in Beijing. Yes, the media canteen, with clips of journos stuffing pasta into their mouths and trying to talk at the same time. And at prime time 9pm India!!


 14. In fact, can¿t get over DD¿s merry men in Beijing --no insight, expertise in a specific sport (except Joselyn Martin in hockey), no cutting edge interviews. In short, just a bunch of freeloaders, when all you need are commentators in Delhi since the visual feed comes in anyway from the different stadia.


 15. And one final one I can¿t resist from one of those merry men covering the sprints in Hindi...he kept saying "Gay Tyson", and referring to SKN (St Kitts & Nevis) as Scandinavia!! 











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