Television
Report on Shemaroo

GUEST COLUMN: Is The Current News Dumbing Us Down?

“Sonu Nigam Quits Twitter!!”flashed on my TV screen today morning. We obviously thought this was worthy of coverage at a national level, because the ‘breaking news’ kept playing in loop for a considerable period of time. 

When CNN covered the Gulf war in the early 90s, it was to be the coming of age of News television. As explosion after explosion played out on the screen to the background score of intermittent gun-fire, News was suddenly more interesting than daily soaps and movies. This was information, played out in real time, offered without filter or opinion. The promise of a new age of journalism was immense, and Indian news channels mushrooming over the next decade carried this promise with them. 

Cut to today, when the same channels are falling over each other purely with an objective to grab eyeballs. Celeb gossip has replaced substance, leaving crucial news stories and events to fade away, thus resulting in what is called the‘dumbing down’ of us, the audience. Issues that have no worth culturally or socially are being brought to the forefront and as breaking news.Today, when a celeb singer was quitting a social media platform as breaking news, a major bus accident in Uttarkashi was relegated to the background. In layman terms, breaking news refers to events that are unexpected and impromptu. 

Clearly, news topics such as politics or calamities are a lot harder to report on in an interesting way. While allnews channels pursue stories of lesser significance, some may even choose to embrace it as their lead story. After all, in order to hold more viewership than that of the competitions’, it obviously must be something that entertains and excites.As a result, we are forced to air content that is appealing to masses because we gauge both news and non-news by the same yardstick.

Television is primarily consumed for entertainment and anything that’s entertainment will get the numbers, anything that’s not will simply miss out on the ratings. As a result, globally in the current scenario, most of the news stories cater only to human interest. 

Ideally, there should be six factors thatmake a story newsworthy- 

public://p1.jpg

How is the content of a news channel judged?

Arbitrating the content of a news channel is a subjective call. It is not a mechanical process, there has to be human intervention to gauge the quality of what is being aired, which would be the 5 factors covered above along with On-Air presentation.

The other even more critical factor – Distribution.

public://p2.jpg

News ratings are direct impact of distribution and affinity from a panel, relevant to news itself, while taking distribution factors into consideration.What news is witnessing today is more the consequence of the Medium’s Measurement Methodology, than that of Distribution’s Multi-LCN phenomena. 

The import lies in being able to measure news qualitatively on-air, and cannot be limited to extrapolation of minute by minute viewing data.Furthermore, there are content affinity (On-Air presentation) factors that impact news delivery today- starting from News Pick, Graphic Display, Screen Packaging, Treatment to LIVE, Anchor Presentation, Expert Panel Members and so on.  

Coming to distribution, there are critical factors like Pack Placement by MSOs leading to Channel Non-availability in the Universe, Multi LCNs, Landing Channels, EPG Ranking, Channel Neighbourhood, etc. It is therefore important to factor the Universe delivery and presentation dynamics, in the viewership measurement methodology, as the Sample itself derives itself from the Universe. In the Universe lie 6000+ Towns, 6 Lac+ Villages, 1200+ licensed /otherwise channels, 60,000+ LMOs and some 5000 large and independent Distribution Providers.

public://p33.jpg

It is time the industry understands the grave impact the delivery chain has on Viewership Measurement. In my view, On-Air factors (qualitative) married with Off-Air factors (distribution) would create abalanced News Viewership Index, thus making way for news that is relevant, fair and informative.

public://pankaj.jpgPankaj Krishna is the founder & CEO of Chrome Data Analytics & Media Pvt. Ltd. Views expressed are personal, and indiantelevision.com need not necessarily subscribe to them.

Latest Reads

https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/06/11/sun_tv.jpg?itok=fXtsNZPR
Sun TV clocks net profit growth of 11 %

Television broadcast major Sun TV Network Ltd on Friday said it closed last fiscal with 11 per cent growth net profit of about Rs 1,520.41 crore on reduced revenue.

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/06/10/vik.jpg?itok=5eFPrtPy
Viacom18 ropes in Vivek Mohan Sharma to head branded content

New Delhi: Viacom18 on Thursday announced the appointment of Vivek Mohan Sharma as head of Branded Content. He will be reporting to head- Network Sales, Mahesh Shetty.

Television TV Channels People
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/06/10/photogrid_plus_1623317456911.jpg?itok=nyoyMNes
Juggernaut Productions all set to begin work on its first international mini-series

New Delhi: Taking a strategic step towards international partnerships, IN10 Media Network’s production arm, Juggernaut Productions has joined hands with the UK based Nucleus Media Rights, a fast-growing television production and distribution company, and creator Brendan Foley, for the international...

Television Production House Post Production
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/06/10/photogrid_plus_1623313127999.jpg?itok=rkHl7HH9
SPN's Go-Beyond podcast endeavours to inspire and entertain

New Delhi: After becoming one of the first major broadcast companies to enter the audio streaming business, Sony Pictures Networks India continues to bring insightful stories of experienced minds from across different walks of life through its podcast service.

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/06/10/photogrid_plus_1623308250265.jpg?itok=Q7t4-wqi
Melissa Lim to lead kids’ content acquisitions at WarnerMedia

KOLKATA: WarnerMedia has appointed Melissa Lim as the new head of content acquisitions and co-productions for its kids' networks in Asia Pacific, which include POGO, Cartoon Network and Boomerang. She will also advise on licensing content to fuel the growing slate of kids and family programming on...

Television TV Channels Kids
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/06/10/covid.jpg?itok=cQyDmC54
Get a jab, industry urges staff, workers as it resumes operations

With the second wave of the pandemic beginning to show signs of a slowdown, organisations across the country are gearing up to welcome their employees back to the office. But with the threat of a third wave looming large, they are taking no chances and making arrangements for their employees to get...

Television TV Channels Viewership
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/06/10/tenn.jpg?itok=1zb0fLsv
PE firm CVC Capital proposes to buy out ATP, WTA tennis tours

Changes may be afoot as far as broadcasting rights of professional male and female tennis calendars are concerned if reports emerging over the past two days are to be believed. Sky News first reported that Luxembourg headquartered private equity firm CVC Capital Partners is in unconfirmed talks...

Television TV Channels Sports
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/06/10/as.jpg?itok=PvJb4Eip
How television can increase time spent viewing with interactivity

With streaming video services like Netflix, Amazon, Disney+Hotstar, and Zee5 grabbing a majority of the headlines, and becoming the flavor of the moment, many believe that linear television in India is losing its moxie.

Television TV Channels Viewership
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/06/08/nbc.jpg?itok=MJMVV1Mr
NBCUniversal to telecast Tokyo Olympics across eight networks

NBCUniversal will telecast 7,000 hours of the upcoming Tokyo Olympics across eight digital networks and multiple digital platforms. The telecast will begin on 20 June and will run through 8 August. 

Television TV Channels Sports

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories

* indicates required