Sony set to explore the media world with new show - 'Reporters'

MUMBAI: Breaking News! A common phrase that is flashed almost on all screens everyday - from news channels to websites. Now Sony Entertainment Television (SET) has picked it up as a 'concept' for its new entertainment show.

While internationally, the backdrop of journalism has been seen in shows like The Newsroom starring Jeff Daniels, Dirt and The West Wings, amongst others; in India the concept was untapped until now.

The Hindi general entertainment channel (GEC) from Multi Screen Media’s stable is all set to explore the world of media with its new show - Reporters. A love story that will make breaking news is set to hit the television screens from 13 April at 9 pm. The channel has roped in Frooti as the presenting sponsor for the show.

Produced by Rose Audio Visuals’ Srishti Arya, it will reveal the challenging world of news in a contemporary way. Set against a backdrop of a media house, it follows the journey of seasoned and respected journalist Kabir Sharma (Rajeev Khandelwal) and a budding reporter Ananya Kashyap (Kritika Kamra). The show is a story of these two strong and conflicting individuals, who are destined to be together.

SET SVP and marketing head Gaurav Seth believes that today the country's perceptions, opinions and decisions are shaped by the world of television news and it is this world, which forms the setting of the channel’s new show.

According to Seth, there are two kinds of stories that work on television - love stories inside the house and outside. One such show that had a love story setting in a fashion house was Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahi.

“A show’s backdrop and context needs to change after sometime as it tends to lose the novelty factor. It is important for us to keep evolving the medium, stories, characters and that's where this new show comes in,” he said.

Behind the scenes

From visiting news channels to having in-depth conversations with journalists from the news medium, the actors have done it all. The actors met veteran journalist Rajdeep Sardesai to know how a newsroom functions.

Moreover, the production house also did research in the matter in terms of how news is created, what the first point of connection to the last point of delivery and the process followed amongst other things.

The production house did its R&D by seeking help from a senior journalist and made sure that the procedures that were being followed were on the right track.

“The journalist we worked with said that many a times a news channel’s agenda and point of view may differ from that of its journalist. We have to be able to identify with the crisis of the character. Unless we don't feel the need to take a side or stand, we are not going engage with the character. It is fascinating to see how news is created,” explains Arya.

Seth further points that people, who are from the news medium, will relate to it. “This is factual and not made up just for the sake of it. However, at the same time you have to take creative liberties because at the end of the day, it is a story,” he said.

Agreeing on the same, Arya asserts, “I would not say it is 100 per cent authentic because then it might not necessarily be engaging. We have tried to stay with the systems that a news channel follow.”

The channel has canned five episodes till now and the show is designed for a finite run with 120 episodes. Seth feels that one has to tell the story in a limited time period that is available. “You can't just keep on extending the show. If a story holds for 2000 episodes, by all means we can go for it but if it is conceptualised for a 100 episode pattern and then if you move it to 300, you will end up stretching the story,” he opined.

Having started his career as a journalist with the newspaper called Mahanagar, SET chief creative director Ajay Bhalwankar has lived this life closely. “I believe that there are lots of interesting stories to tell. Today individual reporters are known, unlike during my time. When I began my career as a reporter, a press conference would see maximum eight to ten journalists with notepads. There was not a single camera present. Today, there are more cameras, so times have evolved and so has the profession. However, not many people know what happens inside and we thought that will create a great amount of curiosity for people.”

Marketing buzz

This time round, the channel has decided to push its marketing efforts on the digital medium to get the maximum bang for its buck.

The first promo of Reporters grabbed one million views in less than a week. The channel ensured that the promo was interesting enough to create a splash. “It has been absolutely remarkable that people have noticed it. It's been trending on Twitter regularly and we have managed to build a lot of anticipation for the show,” Seth said.

Additionally, the channel has created a LinkedIn account for Khandelwal, where he is going to invite people to interview for jobs inside his network.

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