STAR News, which introduced the trend of viewers turning reporters in as early as 2003 with STAR Reporter, has consequently consolidated on ‘people’s reporting’ with a roster of such viewer reported stories, taking the mandate of its positioning as the ‘people’s channel’ that much further.
An official communiqué stated: “The recent heavy downpour on July 4 and 5 in Mumbai also provided a platform for people participation, with hundreds of viewers sending in their narratives to be featured on the STAR News special feature ‘Aap Ka Bulletin’, which is the most recent instance of people participation in an otherwise long roster of other such initiatives.”
The roster includes stories and videos brought in on the devastating Tsunami of December 2004, the London blasts of July 2005, the Delhi blasts of October 29, 2005, the Meerut fire tragedy of April 10, 2006, the earthquake in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir around New Year 2006 and numerous other instances reported via mobile clips, video footage, SMSes and emails and telecast on STAR News. People’s Reporting has taken on a life of its own on STAR News, very often moving beyond reporting on facts into positive activism. At all the above instances people have sent in their reports in large numbers.
The communiqué further stated, “During the 26/7 Mumbai deluge last year, viewers braved flood waters and watery cesspools to bring in up-to-the-moment footage on life from the farthest corners of Mumbai. STAR News had then provided viewers an interactive platform, together with its own journalists to report on the happenings in Mumbai. Viewers played an important part in reporting on missing persons, offering advisories on ground-level realities at different locations and reporting in to the studios with often personal messages, seeking to connect with families. These were featured under two campaign formats at that time on STAR News – ‘Aap Bane Reporter’ and ‘Hum Par Jo Gujre.’ One viewer had even shot images and composed a tongue-in-cheek song on the Mumbai rains! Amateur video footage, in-studio interviews, mobile video clips, SMSes, emails and STAR News reporting had completed the first real-time viewer-led reporting on news television – a widely acknowledged feat.”
On the successful completion of the 3rd Anniversary milestone for STAR News, the channel recently launched a new service for it’s viewers – ‘Khabar Hamari, Faisla Aapka’, a 24-hour feedback mechanism that allows people to call in and express their views, opinions, suggestions or questions on a news story.