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/2017/05/27/nadiu.jpg?itok=RyA5CSpc
DD committed to truthful information & wholesome entertainment: Naidu

Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu today said yjr Government planned to enhance the reach of Doordarshan FreeDish by distributing Free DD direct-to-home boxes in remote and interior areas of the country through State Governments, especially in the LWE impacted areas.

Television TV Channels Terrestrial
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/05/27/V-naidu.jpg?itok=ETtaGQq9
National sports meet to see participation of government and sports persons

NEW DELHI: A day-long Conclave is to inaugurated by Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu tomorrow (28 May 2017) to discuss ways in which India can become a sports superpower. Organised by Doordarshan Sports, the meet being held at the Central Production Centre of Doordarshan in...

Television TV Channels Sports
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/05/27/Sun%20Tv-Story.jpg?itok=vogrMKBD
Sun TV fiscal 2017 numbers grow

BENGALURU: Sun TV Network Limited (Sun TV) reported improved numbers across all important parameters for the year ended 31 March 2017 (FY-17, current year, fiscal) as compared to the previous year (FY-16). Sun TV reported 8.1 percent higher consolidated total income in the current year at Rs 27,...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/05/27/Untitled-1.jpg?itok=8pFkg8Sb
Shashi Tharoor files defamation case against Arnab Goswami's Republic

NEW DELHI:On Friday, the Delhi High Court gave some relief to Republic TV’s Arnab Goswami in a case of IPR theft filed by Times of India group, but was petitioned by Congress leader and Thiruvanthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor who filed a defamation case against Goswami and his Republic. Tharoor in the...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/05/27/BARC-03-Story.jpg?itok=4eKFNTjN
English TV news channels to return to BARC fold from midnight 26 May

MUMBAI: There’s another twist in the tale of the story of the ratings of news television channel debutante Republic TV. The five English TV news channel members of the News Broadcasters Association (NBA) of India, which had stripped their signals of Broadcast Audience Research Council’s (BARC’s)...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/05/26/aaj-tak.jpg?itok=Wg0-hYsO
TV Today numbers up

TV Today Network Limited (TVTN) reported greatly improved consolidated results for the year ended 31 March 2017 (FY-17, current year). The Arun Purie controlled company’s consolidated profit after tax (PAT) increased 60.7 percent to Rs 991.13 million (15.7 percent margin of Total Income) as...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/05/27/eat.jpg?itok=ag7vlImH
Colors Infinity introduces a special programming slot for non-fiction format 'Eat at 8'

Colors Infinity brings to its viewers a big fat culinary treat with a fresh new segment called Eat at 8, which is all set to get your mouth watering! With shows like Come dine with me – Couple Series 3, Junior Bake-Off and My Kitchen Rules, tempting viewers with delectable food presentations, Eat...

Television TV Channels English Entertainment
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/05/26/tubelight.jpg?itok=UhrAvi02
Star Gold launches Tubelight's trailer outside Salman Khan's home

Star Gold has always pushed the envelope not only with content but also engagement with the viewers.

Television TV Channels Movie Channels
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/05/26/Republic-Story%20%281%29.jpg?itok=CmN2GcMP
Delhi HC refuses to entertain injunction sought by Times group against Republic TV

The Delhi High Court today refused to entertain an injunction sought by the Times Group in a case filed by it against Republic TV on issues related to IPR on audio tapes aired by the latter. The court has set dates for further hearing in the case. This is according to information shared with...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories