Television

News channels failed to balance between news and bombast

In times of crisis, news television is the most vital link between the event/happening and the people at large. Many have been been going to town talking about how great the coverage of the news channels was during the recent terrorist attacks in Mumbai. I beg to disagree. The reportage by news channels was inept and at times embarrassing. Anchors and editors use their channels to lampoon politicians, and criticise (and rightly so) all and sundry. It is time for TV news professionals to rewind and watch their own performance.

In this information age, where even terrorism seems to be manufactured for TV, it is judicious to strike a balance between news and bombast

_____****_____

Granted, most reporters and anchors are young and inexperienced; the lack of professionalism was evident. News reportage, especially of a cataclysmic event like the Mumbai terror strike, requires adequately trained professional broadcasters. In this information age, where even terrorism seems to be manufactured for TV, it is judicious to strike a balance between news and bombast.

I was appalled to see PYTs on a business channel which loves to have its women presenters in multicoloured eyeshadow ask the most inane questions. Hindi channels as usual were full of bluster, rhetoric, and the kind of high pitched reporting which they seemed to specialise in their crime shows. Even more seasoned and veteran anchors seemed wanting.

Sensationalism seemed to be the driving force of most channels, whether Hindi or English. It was as if a hyper-ventilated team on high octane was working on a new Bollywood blockbuster based on terror.

Every report the reporters filed was being made out to be cathartic. They have to understand that there is no exclusivity at times like this. On one channel I heard a well-dressed editor claiming 40 times that he had the exclusive story, about the dastardly terrorists.

People had been brutally murdered. Where was the propriety that the occasion demanded? Where was the sobriety?

TV news channels have trivialised politics and reportage on politics. The terrorist strike in Mumbai gave them a chance to correct that. And sad to say, they did not rise to the occasion

_____****_____

Having many cameras on the scene is not news television journalism. Reporters who looked jaded, tired and asked the most inane questions don‘t make for good news journalism. Even the empathy seemed synthetic and the unruly way which reporters and camera persons jostled to grab a morsel of news was despicable.

What was also sad was the way some of the studio anchors were proselytising.You have to report. You have to analyse. Not pontificate. The studio guests were relics of the past. Please get rid of them. In this situation, you needed counter insurgency experts, psychologists, thought leaders to go beyond the news. I am tired of seeing the obsession of news channels with the page 3 crowd who seem to crop up with alacrity, no matter what the situation. These "quote-hangers" need to be mothballed as quickly as the vote hungry politicos who kept popping up on our screens.



The TV news channels have trivialised politics and reportage on politics. The terrorist strike in Mumbai gave them a chance to correct that. And sad to say, they did not rise to the occasion. While one can compliment the long hours and trauma which the reporters and crews put in, the absence of adequate preparedness showed. We have seen on television several individuals, institutions, and ideologies being ripped apart.

It‘s time for broadcast news professionals to pause and think about their own inadequacies. Hopefully, they will take corrective action in the days ahead.

(Amit Khanna is chairman of Reliance Big Entertainment)

Latest Reads

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/03/23/Chhote-Miyan-Dhaakad.jpg?itok=f6z4I-JB
Child prodigies on Colors' 'Chhote Miyan Dhaakad' from 25 Mar

MUMBAI: Bringing double bonanza of endless laughter and giggles is Colors' newest offering, Chhote Miyan Dhaakad.

Television TV Channels GECs
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/03/23/suproiya%20%281%29.jpg?itok=wTwcHslB
DD's kids channel could partner private players, launch this year

Building its channel bouquet. That’s what pubcaster Doordarshan which operates more than 37 channels is doing. Come later this year, and DD will launch a free to air channel (FTA) targeted at toddlers. This was confirmed to indiantelevision.com by its director general Supriya Sahu.

Television TV Channels Kids
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/03/23/jal-dhan%20%281%29.jpg?itok=xjkmVvqw
Aquaguard & Network18 to honour 'Water Heroes' at the 'Jal Daan' grand finale

The first season of the ‘Jal Daan movement’, Network18 & Aquaguard’s social campaign around creating awareness and generating solutions to the drinking water crises in India is reaching its culmination with a gala ceremony on 24th March 2017 at Trident, Nariman Point, Mumbai. The event will...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/03/23/jeff%20wender_0.jpg?itok=UjEkgLOU
Nielsen and Fox television stations renew local television ratings agreement

New York, NY – March 22, 2017 – Nielsen (NYSE: NLSN) has announced today that it has signed a long-term renewal agreement with FOX Television Stations (FTS) for audience measurement services. As part of the agreement, FTS licenses Nielsen’s Local Television ratings across all of the group’s 28...

Television TV Channels English Entertainment
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/03/22/dd.jpg?itok=J9URWJvV
DD b'cast partner of CMS Vataran filmfest

Doordarshan today decided to become the broadcast partner for the 9th CMS VATAVARAN Environment & Wildlife International Film Festival and Forum later this year.

Television TV Channels Terrestrial
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/03/22/rahul%20%281%29_0.jpg?itok=3fmOAWlv
Rahul Chakravarti is Colors Bangla & Odia business head

Viacom18, one of India’s fastest growing media and entertainment companies, announced the appointment of Rahul Chakravarti as Business Head of Colors Bangla and Colors Odia. A veteran with over two decades of experience across FMCG, management consultancy and advertising, Rahul has worked across...

Television TV Channels Regional
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/03/22/Amala%20Thomas.jpg?itok=RuQ7HHLj
Amala Thomas, who epitomised professionalism in the media, is no more

MUMBAI: Creative Producer and senior television professional Amala Thomas, who was the very epitome of professionalism all her life, is no more. The creative genius passed away on 17 March 2017 of a brief illness quite suddenly as she was very active. Amala is survived by her mother, sisters and...

Television Production House Fiction
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/03/22/Pushpaka%20Vimana_0.jpg?itok=wCA20ioJ
Infringement case filed against makers of the movie Pushpaka Vimana

Bangalore March 21, 2017: According to a suit filed against the makers of the Kannada movie Pushpaka Vimana (2017), they have not purchased the Kannada-language remake rights of the movie. It is an infringement of the rights owned by Kross Pictures India. Kross Pictures and Kross Television India,...

Television TV Channels Regional
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/03/21/master-chef%20%281%29.jpg?itok=jWcHVoaF
MasterChef US Junior to premiere on Star World from 26 Mar

Star World and Star World HD will start airing the fifth season of MasterChef U.S. Junior starting 26 March at the prime time 9pm slot. The fifth season of the show, to be aired every Sunday, premiered in the US on 9 February this year with chefs -- Gordon Ramsay and Christina Tosi acting as the...

Television TV Channels English Entertainment

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories