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/2016/12/05/Christopher-Slaughter.jpg?itok=kAJSRrJT
Multichannel TV, digital video growing in Myanmar: CASBAA report

MUMBAI: Multichannel TV and digital video markets continue to grow exponentially in Myanmar. Around 12 months ago, the TV household penetration touched 5.8 million homes, or 55%.

Television TV Channels GECs
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2016/12/05/Rajesh-Kaul.jpg?itok=7vwve68i
El Clasico among most viewed global annual sporting events, says Sony's Rajesh Kaul

MUMBAI: Spain’s leading football league La Liga’s official broadcasters in India -- Sony Pictures Networks India president, distribution and sports Rajesh Kaul has said that El Clasico was among the most viewed annual sporting events in the world and they enabled football fans who could not watch...

Television TV Channels Sports
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2016/12/05/White-Highway.jpg?itok=LL3E4p7T
Discovery A-Pac, Hubu & Looking Glass acquire lifestyle, sports & wildlife programmes from GRB

MUMBAI: GRB Entertainment has announced sales to Discovery Asia-Pacific, Hubu Media, and Looking Glass International for a variety of titles spanning lifestyle, wildlife, and sports.

Television TV Channels Factual & Documentary
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2016/12/03/Pankaj-Sourav_0.jpg?itok=-MGetI3Q
World Billiards Championship to be telecast live on digital media

MUMBAI: Sports app Sports Flashes has tied up with Billiards & Snooker Federation of India (BSFI) to telecast the IBSF World Billiards Championship live. The championship will be taking place in Bengaluru from December 5 to 12. The eight-day championship that includes the Points format and the...

Television TV Channels Sports
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2016/12/02/star-plus-800x800.jpg?itok=skBw-Vyj
Star Plus leads in traditional entertainment media brand category: Study

In an industry study conducted by Vidooly, it is observed that Facebook could be a great platform for aspiring video creators in the country. They can then incorporate it in their overall content strategy and try to leverage other platforms like YouTube, Twitter and Instagram.

Television TV Channels GECs
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2016/12/02/discovery-800x800.jpg?itok=0Nm7MzL-
Discovery to air 'River Monsters' throughout December

Freshwater detective, biologist and extreme angler Jeremy Wade has spent three decades traveling the world’s waterways in search of man-eaters that lurk beneath the surface of rivers and lakes in some of the most inhospitable locations in the world.

Television TV Channels Factual & Documentary
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2016/12/02/tv-today-800x800.jpg?itok=S95bd2jx
Q2-17: TV Today Network topline up

BENGALURU: TV Today Network Limited (TVTN) reported 5.1 per cent increase in standalone revenue (TIO) for the quarter ended 30 September 2016 (Q2-17, current quarter) as compared to the corresponding quarter of the previous year (Q2-16). Standalone profit after tax (PAT) however declined 4.1 per...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2016/12/02/monisha-800x800.jpg?itok=Z2ntYoIO
Discovery appoints FremantleMedia's Monisha Jaising Vaid

Discovery Networks is on a hiring spree. In its endeavour to accelerate growth and embrace opportunities beyond linear, Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific has now appointed Monisha Jaising Vaid as the director of original content for real world products. She joins from FremantleMedia India TV...

Television TV Channels People
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2016/12/02/fremental-800x8000.jpg?itok=KYe2Um-i
Wentworth: Fremantlemedia International, Sky Deutschland tie up

FremantleMedia International (FMI) has announced it had secured a deal with German-speaking PayTV platform, Sky Deutschland, for the award-winning and critically-acclaimed prison drama, Wentworth.

Television TV Channels English Entertainment

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories