Do Hindi and language audiences want to view more of sensationalism, what are the key factors that contribute to the growth of language media, what are the opportunities for electronic media – these are some of the questions that were raised and discussed by a group of electronic media experts. Though the television medium is continuously self-discovering, it is all tied to what the viewers want to watch. TV media experts comment…
Noting that the statement ‘Hindi audiences want to watch more of sensationalism’, was as much a question as it was an allegation, Vinod Kapri, Managing Editor, India TV said, “Television is an evolving medium and only now has it reached some semblance of stability. No one works with the mentality that a particular news will be sensational. In the next few years, we will see emergence of a more responsible and accountable television news media with better content.”
According to Sudhir Chaudhary, CEO and Editor-in-Chief, Live India, television news today faces the issue of ratings, revenue and respectability, and all three are related. Without ratings, there are no revenues and these two are connected to the respectability of a news channel, he explained.
Abhigyan Prakash, Managing Editor, NDTV, too, said that television is undergoing a process of evolution. “In India, television has evolved very fast in a very short time, hence, whatever model that suits the current situation is appropriate,” he said.
On the future of news media, senior journalist Rahul Deb said, “We will see new things and experimentation in television news. Given the number of huge channels, it is not possible to regulate content. There is a limit to the number of channels that the market can sustain.”
Tracing the growth of news television in India, Deepak Chaurasia, Political Editor, Star News, said language media has a much wider reach and hence is always under intense scrutiny. He felt that sometimes news television media tends to be too defensive, but it should to be noted that news television has been responsible for spreading information when no news was forthcoming from other avenues. Citing the example of how Indian news agencies managed to have optimum utilisation of minimum resources, Chaurasia said that during the coverage of the Iraq war Indian journalists made do with just a reporter and a cameraman, whereas media from other parts of the world had a whole convoy of support teams.
Giving the business perspective of news channels, Aman Nayar, Brand Manager, Navbharat Times said that it was advertising that drove the business as it brought in the revenues and also paid for the investment in infrastructure. “TRPs decide what the ad rates should be and it has brought about a lot of dynamism to content. But at the same time, advertisers are also beginning to realise that TRPs are not the only factor to gauge the popularity of a channel,” he added.
To Chaudhary’s question on why Hindi channels are not getting its due, Neeraj Sanan, Executive VP - Marketing and Distribution, MCCS, noted that the answer to this is rooted in our value system and the fact that “we don’t take pride in Hindi language”. He pointed out that the language of business is English and it is the language that is taught in schools. Hence, English is valued more today. “Media planning and buying follows an unscientific process. Hence, even though the impact of Hindi media is more, it is English media that gets a major share in media plans,” Sanan pointed out.
Sudhir Chaudhary, Aman Nayar, Neeraj Sanan, Rahul Deb, Abhigyan Prakash, Vinod Kapri, and Deepak Chaurasia were speaking on the topic ‘Hindi and Language Media – The Content and Ratings War’ during Samachar4Media’s Media Manthan.