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GoNews becomes NBA India’s first digital member

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NEW DELHI: One of India’s youngest digital news channel GoNews has become the first digital member of News Broadcasters Association (NBA) of India, which has been under pressure in recent times with organization members accusing each of alleged malpractices and a new news channel boss dubbing it a “toothless” body.

In an official statement, Pankaj Pachauri-founded Cloudburst Mediaworks Pvt. Ltd., owners of GoNews, said the NBA board at its meeting held on 9 May 2017 considered its application and granted it associate member status with effect from 18 May 2017.

GoNews, an app-based news channel, was officially launched in April 2017. True to its adage of providing news on the go, the inauguration too was live-streamed to over 20,000 smart phone users who had downloaded the app on their smart phones, besides scores of followers on social media.

According to Pachauri, creation of app-based news channel was done on purpose so as to disseminate basic information and hard facts to viewers having no or little access to satellite TV.

A former TV news journalist who had also done a stint as former PM Manmohan Singh’s media advisor, Pachauri said research and data convinced him that satellite TV news was losing its viewership as well as sheen because it had become “highly opinionated” and was increasingly becoming “hostage to advertising”.

Meanwhile, not all TV news channels in India are members of NBA, but with GoNews’ addition membership strength has gone up to 24 companies with 63 channels. Most NBA India members are also part of a bigger industry organization called the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF).

NBA was formed some years back after the news channels said their interest was not properly being highlighted by the IBF on various forums. NBA represents the private television news and current affairs broadcasters and is an organization funded entirely by its members. Co-founder of a new news channel, Republic TV, Arnab Goswami recently described the organization as a “cabal” and “toothless” body when asked the reason for NBA India last week opposing release of Republic’s debut-week audience measurement data.

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