Launched a year back on December 17, 2005, without much fanfare, CNN-IBN continues with its belief of letting its work speak for itself. Rajdeep Sardesai, Editor-in Chief, CNN-IBN, said, “For us the first year is only the start of our adventure. We have completed the first phase. It’s a long way to go. We believe the best way to celebrate is through our journalism.”
On the occasion of its first birthday, CNN-IBN aired an hour-long programme called ‘Whatever it Takes’ on December 16 at 8 pm with a repeat telecast on December 17 at 7:30 pm. The show highlighted some of the work done by the channel in the last one year.
Enthused with the success of the channel’s tagline, Sardesai said, “I think it worked very well for us. In the last one month we had to change our tagline to ‘India’s number one English news channel’, but the spirit of ‘Whatever it Takes’ still remains with us. It worked very well for us because I think ultimately whatever your tagline is, it is your journalism that has to justify your tagline. When we say ‘Whatever it Takes’, people actually believe us a lit bit more. Today after one year, I would like to say that there is a belief that CNN-IBN is genuinely making an attempt to whatever it takes to get the news.”
“It’s been eventful, it’s been great fun. I don’t think any of us expected we would be where we are so quickly. It’s a great adventure and a great team effort. Television is all about team work so it’s the team effort of lots of people coming together and playing their part,” said Sardesai.
One of the pioneers of introducing the concept of citizen journalism, CNN-IBN has given viewers a feeling of being a part of the news process.
Sardesai further said, “I always said we have the mind of an English channel and the heart of a Hindi channel because I think that is the way India is, that is the way you can be an Indian channel. We are an Indian channel.” According to him, the Mumbai blast was by far the biggest story of 2006.
Refusing to divulge much about the channel’s future plans, Sardesai said, “I think we should let our work speak for itself we did that in 2006, we wanted our journalism to speak for itself. In 2007 also we want our journalism and ideas to speak for themselves.”
Along with new ideas, new thoughts and new programmes, the channel would be constantly looking at ways to take the citizen journalism concept to another level. “Citizen journalism is something which we hold very dear. The interactive element of citizen journalism will be taken to a new level. Going forward, in 2007, we will find more new ways in which we can involve the viewers in our programming,” he added.
“In 2006 we were able to establish ourselves as the No. 1 English news channel, in 2007 our challenge is to build the network even further,” Sardesai said.
When queried on expansion plans in terms of getting into new markets, he said, “At the moment we have a one-year old baby called CNN-IBN and a four-month old baby called IBN7, so when you have two babies already who are still learning to walk, a third baby is not something we are thinking about right away. But yes, I am sure we will grow, growth is part of our process, we want to grow, but that’s not what we are thinking of immediately. At the moment we want to consolidate and we want to enhance our reputation even further in good journalism.”