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/2017/04/25/Republic-Story%20%281%29.jpg?itok=fyc-97vb
Republic TV buzzing with pre-launch teasers featuring 'soft' targets, issues

Can the cocktail circuit media and Maoist sympathisers please stand up and name themselves?: Arnab Asks”. The latest tweet from Republic stated. With Arnab Goswami and his new project Republic TV, it cannot be the normal. Rather, true to his style, honed to a level of art, hype is the new normal...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/04/25/star%20vijay_1.jpg?itok=PGjaF3C0
Star Vijay ropes in slew of sponsors for weekend shows, launches new family drama

BENGALURU: Star India’s Tamil GEC Star Vijay had recently launched a couple of weekend shows – a chat show – Anbudan DD with Dhivyadharshini or DD of the Tamil chat show Koffee with DD fame and a Tamil reality stand-up comedy show - Kings of Comedy Juniors. The former airs on Saturday’s at 6pm...

Television TV Channels Regional
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/04/24/star%20india%20%26%20hotstar.jpg?itok=Kyso1Ypu
21st Century Fox outlook on Star bullish despite $30m DeMon hit

MUMBAI: Though India’s currency demonetisation late last year with ripple effects of currency shortage spilling over in 2017 hit businesses all round, including the likes of Star, its parent 21 Century Fox has pinned high hopes on the OTT platform Hotstar and the overall ability of Star to...

Television TV Channels GECs
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/04/24/mix%20%281%29.jpg?itok=RadP7NjK
Sony Mix's 'Media Ke Surtaj' season 2 ends amid fanfare

The Grand Finale of the second season of ‘Media Ke Surtaj’ was held on Friday at Bungalow 9 in Mumbai. Organized by SPN’s music cluster channels, Sony MIX and Sony Rox HD and hosted by RJ Salil.

Television TV Channels Music and Youth
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/04/24/cnn%20%281%29.jpg?itok=fKi-fUKD
CNN-News18 revamp part two: 'India 360' & 'The Crux' launched

With an aim to provide differentiated content to viewers, CNN-News18 recently initiated a revamp of its primetime with the launch of new shows - Face-Off At 9 at 9 PM and Viewpoint at 10 PM. Continuing with this process, the channel will unveil two more shows starting tonight at 8 PM with India...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/04/24/cr%20%281%29.jpg?itok=63uALTqU
'Cristiano Ronaldo' & 'Sleeping Giant' to be premiered on Discovery

MUMBAI: Discovery is set to excite the audience in India by bringing the amazing stories of footballing legends to viewer’s screens across India. Cristiano Ronaldo - The world at his feet and Sleeping Giant – An Indian football story are the two movies Discovery will premiere under its recently...

Television TV Channels Factual & Documentary
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/04/24/brai%20%281%29.jpg?itok=Z-gKCljn
Tata Comm building global cloud-based media platform for VICE Media

MUMBAI: Tata Communications is building a global cloud-based media platform for VICE Media to enable the company’s producers and editors around the world to collaborate as if they were together in the same location. This represents a major shift in how VICE Media’s 5,000 employees work together....

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/04/24/GRB.jpg?itok=8aaGUN1Y
GRB brings Disney docu to UK & Japan, slate of docus to Germany

MUMBAI: GRB Entertainment has announced the sale of several of its top-selling docs to broadcasters in the UK, Germany, and Japan.

Television TV Channels English Entertainment
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/04/24/Ekta%20Kapoor.jpg?itok=6xz7ukkM
Balaji seeks shareholder nod for consolidation of prod biz

BENGALURU: In September last year, the Balaji Telefilms Limited (BTL) board had approved the demerger of the film production business of Balaji Motion Pictures Limited (BMPL) and merger of Bolt Media Limited (Bolt) with the company. Both the companies are wholly owned subsidiaries of BTL. With...

Television TV Channels GECs

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories