With the Election Commission announcing the dates for the five-phased Lok Sabha elections – from April 16 to May 13 – news channels have got busy with special shows, debates, interviews and election bulletins. Though many channels are yet to finalise their programme plans, exchange4media spoke to a few players regarding their poll coverage.
Elections would be held in five phases in Jammu and Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh; in four phases in Bihar; in three phases in Maharashtra and West Bengal, in two phases in Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Jharkhand, Manipur and Punjab. The remaining states and Union Territories will have single-phased polls. 84 constituencies have been reserved for Scheduled Caste candidates.
In all, 124 constituencies will go to polls in the first phase on April 16, 141 constituencies will go to polls in the second phase on April 23, 107 constituencies will vote in the third phase on April 30, 85 constituencies will vote in the fourth phase on May 7, and 86 constituencies will vote in the fifth phase on May 13. The votes will be counted on May 16.
Poll coverage on news channels
NDTV India will have a special show called ‘Dilli Chalo’, in which leading psephologist and political analyst Vinod Dua will take on all the political flavours of India and hit the road with his camera to understand and present the political scenario all around. The half an hour show will go on air from March 13 at 8 pm on Fridays.
Throwing light on the programme strategy for Zee News, Satisk K Singh, Editor, Zee News, said, “There will a half hour election special daily bulletin at 6:30 pm called ‘Siyasat Ka Final’, which will cover the entire election process. This has been on air for a month now. We also have some 12 more shows lined up.”
Sudhir Chaudhary, Editor & CEO, Live India, said, “India is a politically aware country and politics is in the blood. We see elections as a political fest, which comes every five years. We want to capture the pulse, and feel it’s a big opportunity for news channels.”
‘Siyasat Ka Final’ is a brand new election campaign, which will reach masses of both participants and conquerors of politics who take Indians ahead. With the goal of flashback of Vidhan Sabha Elections and the consequences, Live India will try to showcase the heartthrob miracle in ‘Siyasat Ka Final’ to all its world class viewers in upcoming elections.
“The USP of our election programming is the prime time slot for our flagship show on elections. For best technical support, we have three additional OB vans which will offer viewers each and every happening of elections with live connectivity to all state capitals. We have an exclusive panel of political experts to help viewers understand the electoral arithmetic, and a round-the-clock election desk for latest electoral updates. Day-to-day and weekly opinion polls are unique initiatives to reach and support masses. There will be special focus on youth, fresh faces and new voters,” Chaudhary added.
He further said, “All the bureaus in the country are being geared for active news gathering during campaigning and we are tying up with different national agencies. As a result, Live India will have a representative at all its centers. There will be at least five new shows on elections. There will be opinion polls, campaign trails, prominent speeches, genuine promises versus false promises, post mortem of election manifestos, report cards of the prominent leaders reflecting their performance and the voice of common man will be the highlights of this special programming.”
To be continued…