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Poll coverage drives news channels in fray

10-May-2004
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Poll coverage drives news channels in fray

With the largest democracy in the world going to polls, the electronic media gets geared up to provide viewers minute-to-minute news, views and analysis. Every channel has distinct plans to cover the crucial days from May 10 to 15. exchange4 media.com speaks to a number of news channels to know their plans for the crucial days ahead.

Alka Saxena, Head, Programming, Zee News, says the channel will cover the event in totality and the regional channels like alpha Gujarati, Punjabi, Marathi, Bangla – all will be contributing significantly. “As far as May 10 is concerned, we have made special arrangements to cover the event. We’ll telecast live spot coverage from the BJP and Congress offices,” she adds. The group has developed a virtual video wall to handle all the 3D work, while a special outdoor set has been installed at India Gate to keep the viewer updated with every moment of developments. The group has made arrangement for news from all the centres to synchronise at the Noida office to give a complete picture to the viewer.

Sahara Samay, on the other hand, has tied up with DRS to conduct results of the exit polls. The group has also worked out a partnership with Beehive for data management. Says Prabha Dabral, Vice President: “Our team of reporters will extensively cover regional pockets of UP, AP, MP etc. And, Sahara Samay will be the only channel to ensure that each and every aspect of elections find the most effective coverage.”

Exit polls-famed NDTV has divided the five days of polls in 100 hours of programming. “Each hour will carry an extensive coverage of the polls. Our team of correspondents from across the country will keep the viewers updated on an hourly basis and news on all aspects of the event will be available 24 hours to the viewers,” says Raj Nayak, CEO, NDTV Media.

A senior official from Aaj Tak claims that the channel has launched a pioneering effort in covering elections in the form of ‘Sau Ghante, Sau Reporters’. The live telecast will begin from May 10 to 14. Famous tarot reader Maa Prem Usha would also feature on screen predicting the results through cards. All these should keep the viewer hooked to the TV set, says the official.

Spokesperson of CNN says the channel’s New Delhi Bureau Chief, Satinder Bindra will spearhead the comprehensive international coverage of the Lok Sabha Elections. And, to join him, there will be experienced journalists like Ram Ramgopal and Suhasini Haider – right from the beginning of the polls to the declaration of results. Daily in-depth report and several CNN exclusives will be aired during primetime news programmes, including CNN Today, World News Asia and World News, adds the spokesperson.

All set to tackle the competition of private channels, Deepak Chaurasia, Consulting Editor, Doordarshan, says the in-depth handling of the election coverage by DD will fetch a revenue of over Rs 3 crore. “Our reporters from across the length and breadth of the country will provide live coverage of the event. Besides this, interesting programmes like ‘Kaante Ki Takkar’, ‘Janadesh 2004’, etc. will certainly keep the viewer hooked. We are giving the private channels a tough fight,” says Chaurasia.

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