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From ‘Haqeeqat’ to ‘Zara Sochiye’, Zee News out to put life back in Hindi journalism

09-May-2008
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From ‘Haqeeqat’ to ‘Zara Sochiye’, Zee News out to put life back in Hindi journalism

Zee News has unveiled its new positioning with the focus on ‘bringing life to Hindi journalism on television’. From the earlier tagline of ‘Haqeeqat Jaisi Khabar Vaisi’, the channel has now progressed to a more contemplative mode with ‘Zara Sochiye’. The channels also sports a new look from May 8. Vinod Bakshi, one of the directors on the Board, has played a consulting role in changing the look of Zee News.

exchange4media had earlier reported about several senior appointments made at the media house, reflecting the channel’s intention of becoming a serious and sensible news channel. This included bringing in Punya Prasun Bajpai as Consulting Editor.

On the content side, the emphasis is to re-instate true journalism to its real state.

Explaining the rationale behind the change, BV Rao, Group Editor, Zee News, said, “In the genre of Hindi news channels, journalism is almost non-existent! Most channels, with the kind of content they put up, have buried the true sense of journalism. There is nothing new that is put up on the existing Hindi news channel, and thus, viewers have become bored of watching the same stuff repeatedly. Our opening story, titled ‘Kannur’, will reflect the kind of journalism I am talking about. The story is about a small village which is hampered by dirty politics.”

The hard-hitting news report on ‘Kannur’ was aired on May 8 at 9 pm with Bajpai as the news anchor.

Rao further explained that with the change in the content policy, it was also time to change the look of the channel. “The headlines, the logo, the on-screen colours, the fonts, sets, and many other things have been changed to give the channel a much more elegant, sober and distinctive look,” he added.

Commenting on Zee News’ revamp, Barun Das, CEO, Zee News, said, “If you stay close to fundamentals, you cannot go wrong. News channels are supposed to carry news. We have always believed that and stayed close to hard news. That stance would now be reinforced, along with a serious focus on brand building. We do not undermine Indian audience's intelligence and as a news channel, we would be driven by that understanding."

“In the past four to five months, as we were working on our look and feel, we also have been working on our content to support the new positioning. During that period our viewership share has increased by about 40 per cent. Hopefully the new look and feel would further boost our performance. The promotional value of the new campaign is about Rs 15 cr. However, we have leveraged our own currency, i.e. air time, through barters and tie-ups and restricted our cash burn to a negligible amount,” he asserted.

Bates David Enterprise is the creative agency for Zee News. Das informed that Rs 15 crore was being spent on the promotional campaign. He added that the media plan included above the line activities in newspapers and hoardings. A TVC would be running on air to promote the changes that had been announced by Zee News.

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