Sensation may provide short term viewership, but erodes brand credibility: QW Naqvi, News Director, Aaj Tak
When Aaj Tak was launched on December 31, 2000, it had adopted the promotion line of ‘Aakhein Khol De’, used to reflect the nature of content on the channel. Over a period of time with the entry of more news channels, market dynamics forced most news channels to undergo radical content change. How did Aaj Tak face a decade of challenges? In conversation with exchange4media, QW Naqvi, News Director, Aaj Tak, speaks about the Hindi news channel’s decade-long journey.
Commenting on the changing content strategy of Aaj Tak, Naqvi said, “Products become obsolete when consumer preferences change and products are unable to adapt to the changing preference. This is the guiding principle in terms of the content strategy of Aaj Tak.”
He further said that the definition of the news had changed over the period of time and added that they had realised that the definition of news was changing and their content strategy was dynamic enough to adapt to that change. “As a news channel, it is paramount that we strike a balance between credibility and viewership. A content strategy that is sensational might provide short term viewership spikes, but erodes the brand value and credibility in the long run,” Naqvi pointed out.
“In fact, it is interesting to note that the Hindi news space has seen four different challengers in the last five to six years, but just one consistent leader,” he added.
Naqvi believed that Aaj Tak’s true strength was that it made news a part of the average Indian’s daily life and continued to impact them in a meaningful and positive manner. “Aaj Tak has witnessed an exponential growth in the last decade. There are very few media products that have shown similar growth. From being a 20-minute news bulletin on the terrestrial network, Aaj Tak is the number one news channel in India and continues to get an overwhelming response in international markets like the US, the UK, Canada, Australia,” he affirmed.
Naqvi’s association with the organisation dates back to when Aaj Tak was a 20-minute capsule broadcast on DD Metro. After a short hiatus, Naqvi took on his responsibilities again on February 6, 2004, when he had replaced Uday Shankar.
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