Television

News channels gear up for Battle for Bihar 2015

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MUMBAI: Even as the Bihar battle speculated between the two major alliances, BJP led NDA and Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal United-led Grand Alliance (Mahagatbandhan), goes underway, English and Hindi news channels alike are gearing up for it with special programming.

 

The Bihar Legislative Assembly Elections has commenced with more than 66 million voters eligible to cast their ballots in 243 seats across the occupancy. The voting is divided into tenure of five phases starting from 12 October, 2015 to 5 November, 2015. The final counting will take place on 8 October, 2015.

 

Adding to the allure of the elections and to give out information with multiple angles to it, many news channels have come up with special shows only focusing on the Bihar elections 2015.

 

Here's a look at what's in store from the news networks:

Aaj Tak

The channel has strategically planned its programming for covering the Bihar ballot. When asked about the number of newsmen sent to cover the referendum, Aaj Tak managing editor Supriya Prasad said, “We have deployed around 50 reporters and anchors to cover the elections extensively.”

The channel has also kick started special programmes such as Patliputra, which is a special series on the political history of Bihar. Panchayat Aaj Tak - Bihar Elections wherein a day long political conference was held in Patna with all senior leaders of political parties, who discussed the election.

Boat Yatra will cover almost all the big cities through a boat yatra. On the other hand, Rajtilak is a series of audience based debates showing more than 20 districts of Bihar, while Ye Jo Bihar Hai is a travelogue where senior journalist Punya Prasun Bajpai will travel across the state to cover the polls. Kiska Hoga Rajtilak is a daily half hour news show covering Bihar election related stories.  Abki Baari Shekhar Bihari is a daily half hour political satire show with actor Shekhar Suman.

The channel has tied up with Cicero for its exit polls.

ABP News

 

Nukkad Bahes and city debates orchestrates ABP’s Bihar election coverage. “We have already covered more than 50 cities. On the marketing side, we have tied up with Hindi Hindustan to run print campaign and also cover all debates, polls. In addition to this, we are also doing canter activity in multiple cities for a month driving the campaign Sahi Rajnitik Rai Banane Ke Liye Dekhiye Kaun Banega Mukhyamantri,” says a company spokesperson. 

For today's (12 October) polling the channel deployed 10 reporters with live units and OB vans and similarly for every phase there will be deployment of reporters. ABP News flagship election programme Kaun Banega Mukhyamantri  is on-air since September. Apart from that there will be a series of opinion polls and exit polls. 

 

“Other than this we are also doing Bihar Ka Neta Kaisa Ho- a special programming with youth, Ghosnapatra- a discussion on political manifesto with key political leaders in Bihar who are going to play a critical role in government formation and Pratistha Ki Seat – special programming on the VIP seats,” a spokesperson adds.

 

The channel has tied up with Nielson for their exit polls.

 

CNN-IBN

 

CNN-IBN has come up with a show, Reporters Project, with two female journalists travelling across the state of Bihar and bringing two different perspectives to an election that could be very close to call. On the other hand, IBN7 has plans of unleashing six new shows that will provide in-depth analysis of the Bihar elections with news updates, special debates, exit poll and counting day coverage to impart vital information to the viewers. 

 

ITV Network

 

The ITV Network has different news branches under its umbrella, which will entrust the exhaustive coverage of the Bihar ballot. 

 

India News has bagged special programming for broadcasting the Bihar elections in depth. The show Kissa Kursi Ka – CM Kaun? anchored by India News editor-in-chief Deepak Chaurasia will witness some top political personalities from the Bihar political landscape debating burning issues in the upcoming elections that will add a new outlook to the state politics and the choice of voters. 

 

The one hour special show will be aired live and exclusively on the channel from multiple constituencies. 

 

The other channel of the network, NewsX began its comprehensive coverage right from pre-election days. The extensive coverage will continue till the government formation.

 

NDTV Network

 

“The Bihar election has fascinating national implications as well as new state coalitions of social forces. NDTV is going beyond the political tu tu main main to bring you the real stories of this landmark election, with an interesting mix of daily programming in an effort to simplify these rapid and bewildering changes for its viewers. India’s most credible and best known journalists, Prannoy Roy, Barkha Dutt, Sreenivasan Jain, Ravish, Manoranjan Bharti and many more will be where the action is with on the ground reports, opinions and views from political leaders on the campaign trail and those whose vote will decide who the ainners are,” said NDTV Ethics Committee editorial director and president Sonia Singh. 

The network has assigned 14 journalists from both channels - NDTV India and NDTV 24x7 to cover all phases of the voting and counting process.

 

A special programmes that NDTV has prepared for the election is Battleground Bihar with Dr. Prannoy Roy focusing on the key issues behind the opinion poll, exit poll, data and trends. 

 

Dr. Roy will be seen interacting with a panel of experts to discuss election survey data in the context of the amalgam of the politics and contradictions of each major state. 

 

The other major show is The Buck Stops Here: Bihar Edition hosted by Barkha Dutt where she will be seen travelling extensively out of the studio to the field to look at the hard politics and national implications of the Bihar election. 

 

Truth Vs Hype in Bihar moderated by Sreenivasan Jain will be a documentary show bringing the reality of the Bihar story in front of the viewers. 

 

The other dominant show, And The Winner Is, will crunch the numbers and analyse voting trends to bring the story of the elections, winners & losers for the viewers.

 

When questioned about the exit polls and the opinion polls that the channel will annex into, Singh says, “Prannoy Roy and Dorab Sopariwala will forecast the winners and losers for the Bihar Assembly. The exit polls will be based on a random sample of names chosen from the voter electoral rolls, ensuring far greater accuracy than what other polls can command. With fieldwork by Hansa Research, NDTV's exit polls, led by Prannoy Roy, the on-air analysis and presentation have, in election after election, drawn top guests and the widest audiences.”

 

NDTV India's special programming includes Prashna-Kaal with Shahnawaz Hussain, Tejasi, Nitesh Kumar, Manjhi and Chirag Paswan on the show. 

 

The other show is titled Mera Gaon, Mera Desh where 10 reporters go to their villages in Bihar and do personalised ground reports on how things have changed and what is needed to make it better. 

 

Kurukshetra is a battle-ground type show, explaining the reality of caste with data and how it affects voting patterns. While the show titled Bihari Bab, Chunavi Chaska is a collection of 10 stories about the fun and colour of elections. Bihar Special Primetime hosted by Ravish Kumar and his roving camera make for a selling combination by telling untold stories of the people of Bihar. Hum Log Bihar Special: Naghma will be an audience based show that will shed light on the political drama that this election has to offer.

 

News24

 

Sharing News24’s election plan, B.A.G. Films managing director Anuradha Prasad said, “We had started our groundwork from the day the election campaign began. We are covering every bit of the election intensively.” 

Six reporters from the News24 channel are on their toes to give away the particulars of the election instantly on their channel. The network has also pioneered special programmes on the channel like Itihaas Gawah HaiKisko De VoteEveryday, concentrating only on the elections. 

 

“We will do the exit polls but not the opinion polls. We have Today’s Chanakya whose forecasting turns out to be prophetic every time. It will follow as soon as the elections get over,” added Prasad.

 

Times Now

 

Times Now will start its run up with two national election debates hosted by Times Now editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami. In addition, a special half hour show Access will take viewers up close and personal with the big faces in this election. Apart from special programming, the teams will report live during every phase of the election, speaking to key candidates and bringing to the viewer issues that matter. 

 

The channel has sent a team of 12 reporters to Bihar, reporting from almost all districts of the state. In addition to that, reporters across the nation will be following the key parties and faces behind the election. 

 

The channel will also showcase an exit poll on 5 November 2015, after the last phase of election comes to a close. The exit poll will be conducted by C Voter in partnership with IndiaTV. On 8 November 2015, Goswami and his team of experts will analyse the results live starting at 7 am leading up to a prime time debate that evening on the contours of the result.

Bihar saw brisk voting in the first phase of assembly elections. Tight security arrangements have been put in place to ensure peaceful polling in 13212 polling stations in the first phase. The first phase of voting ended peacefully at 5 pm with 57 per cent polling. The elections saw an increase of 6.15 per cent since last assembly polls. Female turnout to be estimated at 59.50 per cent whereas male turnout at 54.5 per cent.

 

*The channels are listed in alphabetical order.

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