World News: Insufficient in US?

Jasbina Ahluwalia

We’re going to take the next question. Welcome, caller.


Caller Two asks Toby Chaudhuri, Co-Founder and CSO of SocialxDesign:  Hi. Thank you. Toby, I was wondering, when the coverage in the US was going on about the elections, you mentioned that it was a historical event.


World News: Sparse

I felt it was rather sparse. I know there are quite a few comedians that made fun of that. It was barely being covered.

I was wondering what you thought about the limited amount of coverage in the US national news sources compared to something such as the Sterling controversy of the basketball team owner who made allegedly racist comments.


World News: Lack of Interest?

That was played over and over again. Do you think this was part of a lack of understanding in the US or a lack of interest? What other factors do you think might contribute to that?


Toby Chaudhuri

When I was young and first getting involved in politics, the same sort of question came into my head.

World News: History

I remember the day that Russia joined NATO, the Cold War construct, on that day instead of it leading headlines, all of the headlines were about a certain incident with a woman named Lorena Bobbitt.

I don’t know that this is a problem with the coverage of India specifically or if it speaks to a bigger question about how the media covers world events.


World News: People Care

I thought it was extraordinary, at least in Washington, DC, the level of discussion that was happening before the elections in India.

It was nothing like anything I’d ever seen before with discussion around India. There was a real sense in the power circles out here that this was a transformative election. It was more than just a historic election because of democratic output.

It felt like a transformative moment where India can redefine itself.

Even though the popular news both in the US and India is about Narendra Modi and who is being invited to what ceremonies, there is still a much larger discussion that’s missing across the board. That is about how people are organizing.

I thought one of the most interesting things in this election was the rise of this new party, the AAP, and how early there was this real insurgency, which fizzled in form or at least lost its momentum.


World News: Guide Conversation

It signals something much larger, which I think came out of the elections. I think that’s where the conversation should go.

It’s about how people in India are taking government back into their own hands.

How are they really creating a government of the people, for the people and by the people?

When I talk about, for example, in India they spent $5 billion US, that’s a lot of money. When you convert to the buying power of the rupee, it probably makes it the most expensive election in the world.


World News: Focus on Issues not People

The real news that I wish I saw more of is, who is putting that money into the elections?

You could probably peel it off and see that there are a handful of really large companies of powerful people in India who underwrote most of that election.

When you follow the dollar, what does that mean for who is really determining these elections? India is no different from the US in the sense that there are no limitations on how much corporate money can go into elections.

These are the same questions that we should be asking ourselves in the US.


World News: Conclusion

Do I think the coverage was enough? No, I don’t think it was.

Do I think that there is much more discussion needed? I definitely think so, but I want to make sure that the discussion is the right one. That’s really what the voters are saying and how that translates into making lives better for the constituencies throughout the country.


Caller Two

Thank you very much.


Tell Us:

Do you feel at times the coverage of world news is weak in the US? Any particular moments come to mind? Let us know in the comments section below.


The above is an excerpt from Jasbina’s interview with Toby Chaudhuri.

The entire interview transcript is at: Toby Chaudhuri NetIP (Network of Indian Professionals) Interview – Current State of Politics in US and India

Listen to the entire interview on: Intersections Match Talk Radio – Jasbina’s Lifestyle Show

Listen to the entire interview on Blog Talk Radio: NetIP Spotlight