The rainbow election

As the results came in, TV news lost the big picture with all the colour-coding.

Television news has a habit of making everything look far more colourful than it actually is. Sunday was a bright and beautiful day for the BJP as the results from the four assembly elections gave them the green signal. For the AAP, it was a red letter day as news of its unprecedented success in Delhi was emblazoned across all channels.

But this wasn't enough for TV news. Oh no. They had to paint everything in all the hues of the rainbow — and then some. The TV screen was often so cluttered, so filled with colour, it was difficult to concentrate on the results as they came in, or the big picture.

DD News was its usual sobersides with its Janadesh poll results in mauve and purple. NDTV India went black and yellow with maps, seat changes, election flashes; Aaj Tak was electric blue and a cheery red with a four-way split screen and breaking news; Zee News had a different colour for every party, every state — black, red, green, orange, blue for the results plus election news trailing at the bottom. The anchor on Zee Business was evidently so pleased with what he saw, he couldn't contain his excitement. It also had an eight-way split screen — too much.

India TV was mercifully sober in green and orange (the colours of the BJP?) while News 24 went blue, red and vanilla for parties and the results. IBN7 had a palette of yellow, blue, green, grey and red, plus campaign shots, state positions, Delhi leads, flashes; India News was filled with faces (eight), party positions for Delhi, results for the states, breaking news — impossible to follow because by the time you had taken in each element, the leads had already changed.

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