Complaint redressal mechanism was always been there in most news channels, but now, it is being taken very seriously. The News Broadcasters Association (NBA) has provided a single platform for viewers to file their complaints with the assurance that serious complaints would be considered and acted upon effectively. exchange4media takes a look at how viewers’ feedbacks and complaints shaped programming of channels in 2010.
News channels took to ‘speed news’ bulletins in a big way this year. Vinod Kapri, Managing Editor, India TV, explained that the flavour of viewers’ feedback this year had been news with speed. “The hunger for more news was the trend in the viewers’ response and suggestions. And it reflected in our programming. We introduced eight speed news shows at different timings this year,” he added.
Satish K Singh, Editor, Zee News, noted that there had been a sharp increase in viewers’ complaints in recent times. He said, “It shows that viewers have become more conscious regarding content. We have a response department that works on addressing these complaints by replying to viewers’ queries and sometimes we address them on air as well.”
He admitted that this mechanism did impact the content of news channels over a period of time.
Vinay Tewari, Managing Editior, CNN-IBN said that like all other channels, CNN-IBN too received feedback and complaints. “Now, NBA’s mechanism ensures that viewers have a proper and neutral platform for any grievance and the system works well as a watchdog,” he remarked.
He further added, “The Association ensures an independent authority headed by Justice JS Verma, which monitors whether complaints are being redressed properly. The News Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA) rules also stipulate that all news channels must report every complaint to the NBA so that proper follow-up is ensured.”
Speaking on NBA’s complaint redressal mechanism, Kapri of India TV said that it had helped in making news channels more responsible towards their viewers, besides enhancing interactions between editors at different newsrooms to improve the quality of content.
He further said that for India TV, viewers’ response had always been the guiding force. “We are perhaps the only news channel to have a 24-hour response department. We publicise our response phone number inviting viewers’ suggestions. Our policy has been to treat viewers’ response with utmost respect,” Kapri stressed.
How it works at NBA
If a viewer has any objection to the content of any news channel, he/she can file a complaint within seven days of the telecast of the said content. As per the NBA guidelines, this complaint has to be addressed and dealt with by the Legal Head of the concerned broadcaster.
Also, complaints need to be filed before the Authority within 14 days from the date of receipt of a response from the broadcaster, or if the broadcaster does not respond within 14 days from the date when the aforesaid period provided for the broadcaster to respond expires.
The NBA guidelines also state that “not later than 14 days from the date of receipt of a complaint complete in all respects, the Authority will issue notice to the concerned broadcaster to show cause why action should not be taken under the Regulations”.
All complaints and feedbacks are considered and adjudicated upon by the News Broadcasting Standards Authority, which is an independent body set up by the News Broadcasters Association.