CNN’s Chief Business Correspondent, Ali Velshi, was in Delhi to host the first-ever live World Business Report, a prime show on CNN, from New Delhi. He spoke about his meetings with some of India’s top business leaders, and gave his analysis and perspective on where India stands in the world economy. In a conversation with exchange4media, he spoke about the Indian media industry, reporting styles and a host of other topics.
Velshi is very aware of the news reporting that happens in India, even though this is his first trip. He said, “I’ve been consuming a lot of news on TV, print and I am amazed with the high standards here. There’s great reporting in print and I am fascinated with how TV has taken the best and worst of the west.”
He felt that TV news here is “robust, enterprising, energetic, exciting and engaging”, but he also candidly shared that at the same time, there was a “little bit of sensationalism”.
His observation was that the standards of reporting followed in US and India are same but in presentation it is “bolder than what we saw in the US” and reports tend to get “aggressive here”.
Velshi said that the media industry in India is in an interesting phase. In most developed markets in the world, media was getting fragmented but in India, where great industrialists and opportunities exist, he saw the media industry thriving.
“Just like in the US, in India too story angles and perspectives are reinforced. Also, the media here is exaggerated. However, in US some media houses are considered solid and dependant and being solid and dependent is ‘boring’. Then it is a question of being interesting, exciting vs. boring,” said Velshi.
Media, often called ‘the fourth estate’, often faces a lot of flak because of quality of reporting both, in our country and abroad. Velshi said to address this, achieving a balance between serving the interests of the viewers and presenting a realistic representation is key.
On good reporting, he gave his dictums. “It is always more important to be ‘right’ than be ‘first’. There will always be deadlines, but there are accuracy touch-points that must be paid heed to. Fairness must be kept in mind and all views must be represented as objectively as possible,” he stated.
It was his first trip to India, but he hopes both his shows will be able to draw a realistic picture of India. “I want to tell people here is the real India; here are the challenges and opportunities that India faces,” he shared.
Velshi is CNN’s chief business correspondent, and anchor of Your Money and World Business Today on CNN International.