Television

Covid2019 is a financial earthquake: Faye D’Souza

She will soon be launching her independent journalism platform

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MUMBAI: For former Mirror Now executive editor Faye D’Souza, Covid2019 is not just a pandemic but also a financial earthquake with no clear end time. Speaking to former Viacom18 COO Raj Nayak on his recently-launched digital chat show, D’Souza, who turned independent journalist last year, revealed details on the kind of journalism manufactured on TV today.

D’Souza believes that we’re entering a phase where our relationship with money is going to change. Her advice to young professionals who own money is to not feel anxious as many in the society don’t even have that luxury. As far as investment is concerned, she urges people to wait and watch.

According to D’Souza, in the news business, the audience is not a consumer but a commodity and the real consumer of news channels is advertisers. “News broadcasters are least bothered about what’s good for the viewers or the society and are playing with their emotions,” she said.

In a scathing attack on the advertising-dependent journalism, she said, “Advertisers don’t care about the quality of journalism and give money to the channels with the highest TRPs. The majority of the money is going to the top two news channels with the highest TRPs, and both are doing extremely poor journalism, and everybody is getting crushed by them. The news channel’s sheer existence depends on whether or not it is able to please its biggest advertisers and if you can’t then you’re an impediment in the chicken assembly line.”

Knowing the intricacies of how it works, she said that honest journalism or asking hard questions to the government can lead to repercussions. The government is the biggest advertiser on news channels and such channels would then be barred from getting PSAs and elections ads, she observed.

Her main aim in launching her own platform is to give a place for journalists, who believe in the core value of this profession, to participate. Freelance journalists, who want to do good journalism, can contribute to the platform and earn on the story or photo they cover through hits. She wants to show that a journalist doesn’t have to be a part of media conglomerates to do good journalism and serve society. According to her, the biggest responsibility of a news presenter or journalist is to inform the audience in an even-tone manner.

D’Souza confirmed that she is ready to launch her website soon and it would be linked to all social media platforms. She is in the process of logo designing and some animation for the website. The platform would be a freemium subscriber-model and it would be completely based on news.

Faye started her career as a news presenter and jockey with All India Radio (AIR). A business journalist by choice, she worked a couple of years with Network18’s CNBC-TV18 as producer and reporter and then moving to Times Network’s ET Now business news channel as an anchor and producer in 2008. But it was her three-year stint at Mirror Now that shot her to fame as she asked compelling questions during her debate show.

A Mangalorean by heart, D’Souza said that if she wasn’t a journalist, she, being a hardcore foodie, would have been a teacher or doing something in the food industry.  

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