'Job of a journalist is not to please people but to speak the truth & report facts'

At e4m English Journalism 40 Under 40 Summit and Awards, industry experts shared insights on the credibility of news channels

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Published: Apr 29, 2022 3:29 PM  | 3 min read
e4m English Journalism 40 Under 40 Summit and Awards

In today’s times, television news channels are facing a lot of mistrust among the audience. Touching upon the crucial topic, a panel of top television news editors voiced their opinions and had an insightful discussion on the issue. The exchange4media’s English Journalism 40 Under 40 Summit and Awards was graced by top news media stalwarts in Delhi. During the discussion, the panelists also spoke about the solutions to bring back the credibility of news channels.

The session titled ‘Lack of trust in News TV: Reality or hyperbole’, was moderated by Uday Pratap Singh, Assistant Editor, NewsX, Itv Network with panelists Nandini Nair, Deputy Editor, Open Magazine, Neha Khanna, Executive Editor, India Ahead News, Preeti Choudhary, Senior Editor India Today TV discussed in-depth about the credibility of news channels today and way to regain trust among its viewers.

When asked why there is a lack of trust shown towards television news channels and not on the print news industry, Nandini Nair, Deputy Editor of Open Magazine said, “People watch more than they read, print is not entertaining as compared to television. This lack of trust and confidence has taken place in last decade and that is worrying. I would not say that the print is superior in that case.”

When asked if the credibility of news channels is dropping due to the TRP race, Preeti Choudhary, Senior Editor of India Today TV said, “It is a very easy route for a journalist to blame on viewers, I believe people are consuming type of news that you cater to. Our job is to not please people, we cannot give people what they like to see and which sets their agenda because it gives us TRP. Our job is to speak truth and purely report facts. Either five of them will watch me speaking the truth or 20 of them which suits their agenda. But I still have five people who will believe in what I am saying and that’s how I will build credibility.”

Choudhary further said, “I do feel that mostly people are watching news for sheer entertainment. Most people will watch a particular news channel that suits their political agenda or identity and will still cross-check the news. They don’t buy the news despite it suits their political agenda. They will agree to that particular breaking news but will not believe it. That is the sad part of the news.

Deliberating on the solution to save television news channels from facing an existential crisis, Neha Khanna, Executive Editor of India Ahead News said, “I have no doubt in my mind that anyone to be blamed for the mess, is us. Few years back we spoke about how sensationalism was sold and was a bane to our profession. News sensationalism was replaced with toxicity in last few years which is a much bigger issue. A lot of what you watch on television is not journalism, a lot of hate and agenda is being pedaled during prime time debates and a lot of toxicity is spread. We in the media are more polarized than before.”

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