24 Ghanta revamps structure, schedule of the channel

KOLKATA: Sensing an urgent need to revamp its structure and the schedule of its Bengali news channel, Zee Entertainment Enterprises’ 24 Ghanta has launched new programmes apart from telecasting news.

Channel representatives agree that while the channel used to rule the hearts of people but off late its viewership has decreased. In order to regain its old position, the channel is looking at introducing special shows on health, finance as well as shows for children. The channel aims to reach the doorsteps of people in the state apart from updating people from its studio by starting Apnar Paraye 24 Ghanta (24 Ghanta in your own locality). 

The channel has started to air the one-hour show Offbeat 24 from the last two months from every Monday to Friday at 7pm. Ki Khobor Bangla, is another show aired at 10 to 10.30 pm giving all the news and views of the districts of West Bengal. The channel also telecasts Crime Branch, a crime related show in which the reporters of the channel unearth the facts and truths about crime cases registered in the state.

“People of West Bengal are not only obsessed with politics. They are happy to see non news related prorgammes on children, health issues and finance among other topics,” said 24 Ghanta editor Anirban Choudhury.

Apart from what 24 Ghanta is now, we would show the story of a common man. Bengal is not just about politics, the night life here is vibrant too. Going forward, we will put more focus on social life and people,” he added.

For the show Apnar Paraye 24 Ghanta, the producers and anchors will go to different localities and by engaging into chit chat session, 24 Ghanta would air concerns of people related to women security, road and traffic problems among others. “By connecting with people, we will try to address their concerns,” Choudhury said.

Also, for the Kolkata Municipal Corporation election - the next big event taking place in Kolkata - the channel would cover Kolkata in and out and cover people’s view from all different angles. 

24 Ghanta, which was always been a pro-government channel when the Left Front was in power, had once again returned to its own editorial policy of supporting the government, but now it is three and half years old TMC rulers led by Mamata Banerjee. 

24 Ghanta was launched in the year 2006 and it covers local, national as well as international news.

“Considering the current dip in TRP, it would not be easy for 24 Ghanta to resurge to its earlier position. The other channels have taken advantage of this. The biggest problem was 24 Ghanta's sudden swing in presenting political news: from being left inclined to TMC backers. Most viewers haven't taken this well,'' said Abhishek Sengupta, editor-in-chief-Demagogue Unzip Your Mind, a media and publishing company.

However Sengupta said there's a better side as well. “If the channel takes this dip seriously and works towards improving it, it will have to continuously provide the viewers with news that is not doctored. Ideally it should now stick to the basics. News is the priority. Not some other programs on varied topics,'' he opined.

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