TV correspondents cannot pronounce for their lives

Over the past two months, I have been regularly following the CNN-IBN live feed on their website

With the nearly 10.5 hour difference in time between India and NYC, I catch up on the late night news daily while I am at work. 95% of the time it is just listening to the audio while I am working away on the computer. In this scenario, there is a glaring deficiency that has left me dumbfounded.

All the correspondents on that channel have some of the worst diction and pronunciation of english words that I have ever heard. In most cases the anchors and the correspondents cannot pronounce regularly used words, forget proper nouns.

I am not trying to be a snob, but I would expect that one of the premier channels in the country can at least screen its personnel that they can speak correctly. Most times when we see visuals and the audio is just an accompaniement, the deficiencies in the spoken word is not glaring. However, turn off the video and just listen to the audio and you will know what I mean.

A lot of the anchors also indulge in histrionics that are in poor taste. Using tonal modulation to sensationalise even the most basic question or rhetoric shows a certain shallowness in content and delivery of news.

Rajdeep Sardesai, who heads this channel, should take steps to really correct this malady if CNN-IBN wants to be taken seriously.

Not only is the pronunciation all awry, so is the accent. Its neither an Indian accent nor is it a call-center accent. Its funny that in a country where we have millions who speak the US-English for their livelihood, a news channel cannot get the best of them to stand in front of the camera, instead of behind a telephone receiver.

Do you think that I am being unreasonabl and a snob, or is this something that is important to you too ??



  1. How dare you demand perfection in English pronunciation? Beware of the nincompoops of the desi blogosphere who’ll pounce on you for making such exacting standards 🙂 .

  2. Patrix, I remember we had this same discussion on another blogpost somewhere. You and I were the only one that thought that proper grammatically correct English was the hallmark of a good blogpost.

  3. Also as an aside…..u have commented thrice on my blog in the past 2-3 weeks. Thats a first. Looks like the freedom from being a DP foot soldier has allowed you to voice your inner self on blogs. Keep it up and keep it coming !!

  4. Sakshi, was that being funny ?? I think Rajdeep Sardesai is good…in the same league as Prannoy Roy was in his heydays.

  5. LOL! another blogger too expressed surprise at my ‘increased commenting behavior’ 🙂 Well, all I can say is that, yup! feels good to have a personal connection. After all, that’s what blogs are for, right?

  6. Accent is no longer an issue in India.Gone are the days when a ‘pucca’ accent allowed you to claim a superior place in society. What matters now is what you say. I think Shireen Bhan and CNBC newsreaders are awful with marbles rolling in their mouth but the rest are fine with their Indian English. They can be understood in India..

  7. Arzan:

    You kind of hit on something I notice on Indian TV when I am in “desh”…the two people whom I like are Menaka Doshi and Chelvarayan (sp?. Quite a few of them seldom wait for the person to complete their thoughts…plus they raise their voices …it makes it difficult to watch TV.

    But, I need to be careful. As they say in India, “Those who live in glasshouses…” I find myself hovering between two accents and am thinking of unleashing my third: the Tamil accent 🙂

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