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For The Sake Of News: Where is the news?

In its 4th week, Zee News initiative finds out the aspects of good news and its affect on viewers.

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | June 3, 2011

The Zee News initiative ‘For The Sake Of News’ is getting bigger and it has reached on-ground from online. The channel is executing agencies activation and reaching out to various media agencies across Delhi and Mumbai.

In the 4th week of its online campaign, the industry stalwarts discussed how the serious news content disappeared gradually and how does this affect a viewer. Calling today’s scenario disgusting, Shashi Shekhar, Editor-in-chief, Hindustan, recalls his old days in TV when he himself led India’s No.1 news channel for some time. He pointed out, “Television news then was such a serious business that it was rapidly becoming challenging for the newspapers. But after a few years, I felt that the news channels will surrender before the newspapers soon because they started losing their focus for short term goals.”

Comparing those old days with today’s situation, Shashi Shekhar said, “Now people watch news channels for updates only. The news has taken a new place on the channels and that is the ticker running below the TV screen.”

Adding more to this, Zee News Editor Satish K Singh said, “These days, the channels are treating news like touch and go services. In the name of quick news format, small news capsules are used which cover 20 news in 5 minutes. I don’t call it a news until it has some depth and covers various aspects of the news.”

Talking about the impact on the viewers, Satish added, “These days channels are taking people for granted and this is what spoiling the trust which the mature channels like us created over the years. We should be in the business of creating better citizen if we want better viewer.”

What are the scope left with the news channels? When asked, Shashi Shekhar said, “Being an optimistic person, I believe they will make a comeback. I do believe that Good TV can change the world and the channels too can change themselves before it’s too late.”

Sanjay Bahadur, President, Marke Cerebre looked a bit careful while predicting on the future and said,See, as long as numbers come in - or as long as there is desperation to build numbers whatever be the means - I reckon there will always be advocates and practitioners for over-trivialized content on "news"-channels. Unfortunate, but true. But in a logical evolution, an astute balancing of content between news and non-news will without doubt build long-term respect and buyability for such a channel.”

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