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Indian T V Monitoring
The Race DEbAtE
Most news channels are at some time of the day offer debate on a so called controversial topic of current affairs. However, majority anchors comes unprepared with historical documents- utterly lacking research effort. The cross fire between political ideas often does not present the main street with the idea juice based on historical research, just lung power presentations. (3 November 2017)
The first day of February 2017; majority television channels have faithfully carried the telecast of annual budget and the post budget dissections with experts. However, what is surprising is drought of female experts. The absolute male dominance raises question about reason for marginalization of females experts, specially in area of social science (read economics) in India. Zee TV utilised the surroundings of Central park in Connaught Place with all male panel. The only silver lining was presence of female anchors in some channels. But were they all well equipped with research in social sciences, remains a bone of contention. Of the channels scanned till 5:30pm, none raised questions like- why no incentives were provided for organic farming, why no incentives came in for controlling acute pollution- both affect health of the main street.
Is self regulation working effectively across all private channels? Today, (15 January 2017) in channel- News Nation, a adult category advertisement appeared four times during one hour this afternoon. What will be its impact on children who watched this television channel with their parents on this Sunday afternoon, is anyone's guess?
Today, Rajya Sabha television focused on Rabindranath Tagore in programme- Virasat during 1:30-2:00 pm (15 January 2017). During which, it remembered Mahatma Gandhi and asserted that Tagore was the first person to address Gandhi as Mahatma. While ABP News at 1:35pm highlighted in Hindi-“Gandhi ka chemical locha” and asked questions like- “Bapu desh ke kiye hanikarak hai?” (Is Bapu harmful to nation?). A contrast indeed!
Since November last year, demonetisation has dominated the Indian news channels. Some channels like India Today, ABP News showed sting operations. The Minister of Finance, Mr. Arun Jailey, while addressing a Press Conference on 30 December 16 voiced that TV channels should show queues that exist on 30 December 2016, not that existed on 10 November. There was no rebuff from the journalists present in the live Press Conference! Now with the television channels getting a lot of dramatic news regarding feud in a political party, the focus on woes of demonetisation seems to have faded from majority of prime time discussions. A few channels like Times Now did focus on instances of misbehaviour with women in Bangalore. But the bigger issue of women insecurity in India seemed missing. With today’s announcement of elections in many Indian States, again the focus will be on politics till result announcement in March?
OPPS- Yesterday, on Lok Sabha television, programme- Kaal Samvad, during a discussion on freedom fighter Gokhale, the photograph shows was that of Bal Gangadhar Tilak! (4 January 2017)
What ails Doordarshan
Amrita Nayak Dutta reported in DNA (19 December 2016) that government is planning to appoint a private firm to revitalise loss making public broadcaster- Doordarshan & bring it par with private television channels. Today (20 December 2016), DD News presented new schedule of popular programmes. Will the new schedule work without content makeover? Team SARCAJC looked at various programes in various television channels related to News from 5:10 pm. ABP News was asking-“Where all cash seized?”. While NDTV carried views of Finance Minister- Arun Jaitley and was accepting that during this demonetisation drive, some employees have misconducted. Taal Thok Ke- a debate was airing in Zee News with Rohit as anchor with 4 debaters- 3 from political parties and one Professor from Punjab University. The topic of discussion was result of Municipal result of Chandigarh elections. The channel calls this show as “Debate’s number one show”. The debate at New 24 featured 6 debaters arguing on -”Whether Shariyat courts should be closed?”. Vineet Malhotra was the anchor in the programme on current issue with 3 participants from political parties. Times Now carried a special broadcast -“I didn’t vote for this”. India Today showed an advertisement on Black money. CNN News 18, carried breaking news- “Corporate War now legal battle..Mistry moves National Company Law Tribunal”. At 5:30pm, India 24x7 asked-“which actress ruled the year 2016” but with a photograph of Union Minister- Riju! While News X carried under “Crime & City” clip of “Haryana Police Brutality”. While DD National channel educated on how to maintain lemon tree, how to grow mashroom and DD News carried Sports News. Which is more interesting, viewers decide, right?
Revelations- Alpha Files
During prime Time, Republic TV stood out with its Editor-in-chief - Arnab Goswami questioning ED on valuation of the seized assets to be over Rs 550 million, that too done so quickly. Prema Sridevi raised apprehension about authenticity of sized jewellery - American diamonds? “Loan Vs Zero Asserts scam”. Larger scam in making.. hundreds of bank officers were bribed and entertained...Arnab declared-”We will not agree to closure of the case” and raised voice over quality of journalism- how reporters are not doing any real reporting rather going after press releases by the Government and presenting them as "news-break” The Republic TV has opened “The Alpha Files”, “Deep Throat” insights -in coming days. The rot in Indian financial system that has take toll on the main street is finally started coming out from the closet. But larger issue (read need) of transformational restructuring must not get lost in blame game. Did you say immediately replace all CEOs, board of directors (with majority independent directors) in all public sector banks. Investigative/research journalists as board of directors, good start indeed! (16 February 2018)
Did You reVeal, how mUcH?
The attack on Indian Army camp in Jammu (10 February 2018) saw most leading news channels featured their correspondent in Jammu. All claimed that they showing visuals after a time lag and were not revealing operational details. Channels like India News (12:30 pm), Indian TV (12:35 pm) did show the building there terrorist were hiding, While DD News was busy (12:42 pm) telecasting the press conference by Finance Minister, RBI & SEBI chief- after their meeting on annual budget. While correspondent from Aaj Tak informed (16:38 pm) that huge generators are bring taken to the army camp. Most news channels initiate discussion/debate on national security with people with different ideologies, retired defence personnels etc, with seemingly little contribution from the research wing of news channels (if any!). Most news channels (excluding business channels) had fielding the same news anchors to initiate the discussion on budget, did you say!? Say, did you present statistics on comparative low allocation (adjusted for inflation) for defence in the annual budgets vis-à-vis demand- over the years? Yes, obsession of media with GDP growth continues. Is inequity led growth sustainable? The Prime Minister of India had recently revealed on floor of Indian Parliament (7 February 2018) - the extent of Non Performing Assets (NPA) in public sector banks- 82% when his government took over. Later this day, during prime-time, this was not topic of discussion in any leading news channel, wonder why? This did not make headlines of newspapers too- next day. Point to ponder- Is privatization a solution, as deputy Governor of RBI had suggested last year? Is privatization cure for unregulated greed? Did you say today, private sector accounts has accounted huge pile of NPAs in India! And Central Bank- Reserve Bank of India (RBI) slept all this while, without any accounting! The fact is that Indian banking system has failed and now is being bailed-out with tax-payers money- has not being highlighted by the mainstream Indian media. No expert-media voices are being heard- make defaulting Managing Directors, Executive Directors of these NPA ridden public sector banks, Governors & Deputy Governors of RBI (who were drawing fat salary & perks) be held accountable for NPAs.
Self regulation working?
Hindu has reported-“Set up mechanism to hear plaints about TV content: SC”. The legal corresponded informed-“The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the government to set up, streamline and publicise a complaint redressal mechanism…to deal with citizen’s complaints about content telecast or aired by private TV channels and radio..”. The para four of this news report carries a quote by the bench of Supreme Court-”We cannot ask the (the Centre) to monitor the content of the channels. How can we do that? ..” While Times of India’s Dhananjay Mahapatra has highlighted-”SC: Set up body to look into complaints against channels”. (13 January 2017).
SARCAJC is independently monitoring!