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Coronavirus & Indian electronic media
Coronavirus has brought public health on the forefront. Everyday Indian TV channels are making viewers aware about its spread in India and the world. The young reporters are taking health risk which reflects their sincere dedication. The leading news channels are bringing top doctors - during off-peak and on-peak time. Indeed doctors are instumental in calming fears regarding spread of this disease. The most sought programme is the phone-in programme where top doctors respond to queries of viewers and also calm fears. This is the first time that so many doctors have appeared on TV. Hats off to their dedication.
Some anchors did crib about isolation during this lockdown but this is the time for indoor creativity & introspection. How often we crave for quality time with our dear ones and an opportunity for re-living time. Due to ongoing lockdown, current soap operas on TV channels have stopped. This has led to re-telecast of gems of soap old operas by TV entertainment channels. Doordarshan National channel has offered a great vareity for all ages and taste- Ramayan (epic), Buniyaad (historical), Dekh Bhai Dekh (comedy), Bonkesh Bhakshi (detective), Shaktiman (Indian Superman), Krishnakali (based on a novel by famous woman author- Ms. Shivani). Star Plus is showing again interesting women oriented soap operas again like Diya Aur Bati, Mere Angane Mein, Bidadi etc.
Various Radio channels are also running awareness programmes (including doctors led) about Coronavirus and playing an important role in educating as well as calming fears of listerers. The reach of radio is vast and so is its influence. The app by Prasar Bharti (newsonair) is best place to hear all radio channels in India.
Some friends of SARCAJC have expressed that listening to not-so-good news is making them depressed. Thinking Journalist- Sanjay Sinha's stories in Tez TV channel have become more thoughtful. Incidently, title of this story programme is Rishte (Relations). True, this is time for introspection, revisiting those we have lost touch with - teachers, school friends, aunts (even if they have been agony ones!)...list seems endless! Pick up the phone and call them! Hope during this turmoil, we will be able to sail through- safe.
(10 April 2020)