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‘I will create an unassailable lead’

16-February-2004
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‘I will create an unassailable lead’

Change means constant in Aaj Tak New Director Q W Naqvi’s lexicon. Powered by a mandate to build an unbridgeable lead for Aaj Tak over other news channels, Naqvi has set his sights on wowing the audience in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections. In making this happen, the news director told exchange4media.com that he would break away from the traditional form of election coverage and throw up surprise elements in the programmes.

Naqvi believes the nature of programming should change with times. “Even the language used in the scripts will have to cut ice with a wide cross-section of viewers, including the emerging SMS-driven generation,” he said.

Lending depth to news is also uppermost on his agenda. “The objective is to provide the audience all possible dimensions to every news. That calls for greater research, and better understanding of news,” he explained.

“Better interpretation of news will provide a sharper competitive edge,” he said. When asked if that could lead to opinionated news flow, he said that interpretation is a lot different from opinion in that interpretation would flow from research. However, he was quick to add that ideas themselves emerge from opinions.

Naqvi is unfazed by competition. “Several others tend to copy Aaj Tak. However, our endeavour is to remain a clear leader. Of course, the fact is that somebody can copy a given technology and the look and feel but certainly not the ideas that go into content generation,” he said.

“Further, there is always scope for improvement. It is a continuous process. If you don’t follow that, you will die!,” he viewed.

Would he bank on any particular feedback mechanism to judge the pulse of the audience? To this, he said, “We rely on various inputs from TRP ratings and random sampling to informal meetings. But the feedback may not be reliable at all times. Some the suggestions can be highly academic. So one would have to lean heavily on experience.”

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