News Channels gear up for elections with special programme line-up

Channels both national and regional are dishing out election oriented programmes

e4m by Neethu Mohan
Published: Mar 13, 2019 9:32 AM  | 9 min read

India is gearing up for General Elections and the schedule of polls are soon to be declared by the Election Commission of India. Media houses across the country are also gearing up for the polls, channels both national and regional are dishing out election oriented programmes. The TV viewership is also expected to rise during the election period. According to media experts the TV viewership during the election period is expected to go up by 60 per cent and few regional players are expecting a 100 per cent rise in the viewership.

From exit polls, to meet the candidates to debates, channels are banking on election period with special programmes.

Times Now has lined up election programmes ‘Chunav Yatra’, ‘Access’, ‘Mandate Inside- Modi’s report card’, etc. They are also coming up with exit polls on the last date of polling. They will air programme named ‘Poll Tracker’ from March 8. Times Now has associated with VMR, a leading research consultancy to broadcast set of Opinion Polls on General Election this year to produce high quality data on voting, public opinion, and political participation. The surveys give a picture of the likely graph of the elections and will be significant to understand where the electorate may swing. 

On the last date of Polling, Times Now in association with VMR will broadcast an exit poll of the states going to the Polls. Using state of the art technology and on ground field research the Polls maps 543 seats across states and data is then processed by specialised algorithms to call a projection for the Lok Sabha. The results are a fair indication of how the election has played out with the Voters.

To get a clear picture of what thoughts are shaping the voting pattern Times Now reporting team travels to each region and the programme is named ‘Chunav Yatra’. The channel also broadcast a weekend magazine show named Access that brings viewers close to the Top Candidates in the fray. The show follows the top candidates as they canvass in this crucial election. A 24-minute weekly show, ‘Mandate Inside’ will capture how the schemes launched by the government has fared.

The channel will also broadcast national debates which is spread across six mega metro cities to engage India's East West North South on the hot button election issues. On the result day the channel will conduct live shows featuring the country's top Election Data Analyst, the channel will bring several unique properties that help viewers understand the voice of the voters and result analysis. Moving away from traditional analysis like swing and vote patterns Times Now uses big data analytics and mathematical models to bring a holistic news watching experience. 

For the upcoming elections, Mirror Now will opt a citizen focus approach ‘India Votes’, specific to the younger generation. Through a programme named #MYFIRSTVOTE, Mirror Now will travel to campuses across India to understand the pulse of the youth – their issues, their aspirations, what they expect from their leaders.

A show named ‘Gen Next Netas’ profiles the young, dynamic politicians and their ideas and vision for a new India. In keeping with the focus to highlight the voter’s voice, Mirror Now will travel across different cities and through a series of ground events, enable voters to directly interact with political parties for a programme named ‘Town Halls’. ‘Explained’ is another election special show broadcast by the channel.

The channel will also telecast a snappy daily segment named ‘See This Before You Vote’ which will help the voters prepare for the election day. And on the last date of polling Mirror Now will broadcast Exit Poll of polls. An expert panel will analyse trends based on data put out by various agencies. The Exit Poll will map 543 seats across all states.

As the country prepares to elect the next government of the world’s largest democracy, News18 India and CNN-News18 have also lined-up an extensive programming giving viewers an unparalleled access and insight into the elections. News18 India will present its General Election programming under the umbrella branding ‘Sabse Bada Dangal’. From covering high-decibel campaigns and rallies of political parties to questioning the politicians on substantive policy issues that affect the common man, the channel will telecast multitude of special shows.

The channel has lined-up a comprehensive bulletin capturing major highlights and key stories from across the nation, related to the elections. The programming will also witness special edition of channel’s renowned shows – ‘Bhaiyaji Kahin’ and ‘Lapete Mein Netaji’. While the former has a chaupal-cum-travelogue format providing an interactive platform to connect the voters and local leaders, the latter is a weekly ‘hasya kavi sammelan’ with prominent Hindi poets and satirists who will bring sharp sarcasm and a sense of humour to the political discourse. In the lead-up to the polls, News18 India has also planned live on-ground and in-studio debates from key constituencies featuring senior politicians to discuss about pertinent election issues through shows such as ‘Ye Desh Hai Humara’ and ‘Desh ko Jawaab Do’.  Along with the special editions, the programming will also include profiling of the political leaders, exclusive interviews and wide-ranging coverage on polling days and counting day.

“Capturing an unparalleled and in-depth ground level view of Loksabha Election from across the nation, we have lined up plethora of shows under the umbrella branding ‘Sabse Bada Dangal’. With innovative concepts like ‘Bhaiyaji Kahin’ - a chaupal-cum-travelogue providing an interactive platform to connect the voters and local leaders and ‘Lapete Mein Netaji’ – a ‘hasya kavi sammelan’ with prominent Hindi poets/satirists and top political leaders, we will be bringing differentiated content and the most incisive reportage,” said Prabal Pratap Singh, Managing Editor, News18 India.

CNN-News18 will delve into all aspects of the Lok Sabha elections with its special programming ‘A Billion Votes’. With its diverse formats and data-driven programming, the channel will bring up-to-the-minute updates throughout the election, keeping viewers apprised of the big moments as they unfold and scrutinise key policies and issues ahead of polling day. From daily shows like ‘Election Epicentre’ and ‘Setting the Election Agenda’ which will cover latest developments related to the elections to special on-ground shows such as ‘Reporter’s Project’ and ‘The Real Bharat’ that will witness seasoned reporters traversing across the length and breadth of the country, the channel will present its viewers with realities and voter sentiments from ground zero. 

From shows such as ‘Youngistan’ and ‘The Women Vote’ which will put a special focus on the youth and women voters of the country in order to ensure that their voice is captured and showcased to special programming like ‘Kings & Queens’ and ‘Election Yatra’ which will showcase the top leaders who will determine the outcome of Elections 2019, the channel is all set to provide its viewers power-packed programming. Offering a satirical round-up of the elections, ‘The Election That Wasn’t’, will feature television personalities Cyrus Broacha and Kunal Vijaykar, who look across the political spectrum giving their own unique take on the election news and shenanigans. CNN-News18 promises to provide an unmatched coverage on polling and counting day.

News18 India and CNN-News18 will deep dive into data with India’s only AI-driven election analytic tool called the ‘Magic Wall’. Powered by research done at the constituency level that can breakdown into Live results based on parameters such as industrial growth, farmer distress, millennial influence, government schemes impact, etc, the Magic Wall will provide an unparalleled experience to the viewers.

The programming will be led by the formidable editorial team of the channels. On News18 India, Kishore Ajwani, Deputy Managing Editor; Amish Devgan, Executive Editor and Prateek Trivedi, Senior Editor, will be joined by prominent experts like Ram Kripal Singh and Shesh Narain Singh. CNN-News18 will feature top anchors – Bhupendra Chaubey, Executive Editor; Zakka Jacob, Editor – Output; Anand Narasimhan, Deputy Executive Editor; and Marya Shakil, Political Editor. Complementing them will be a panel of eminent journalists and political analysts like Swapan Dasgupta, Vir Sanghvi and Ajoy Bose to name a few.

“At CNN-News18, our larger aim is to delve into all aspects of the stories related to the upcoming elections.  We introduced some new election tools in the last Assembly elections in December, like Magic Wall and Elex-A. We will be scaling all these election tools up and taking them to a different level for the general election,” said Sudeep Mukhia, Executive Editor, CNN News18.

Regional channels are also coming up with election oriented programs. Malayalam news channel Manorama News have programme line-up building up to the election, which is scheduled for April-May 2019. The all-new content bucket is titled ‘Janahitham 2019’ and it started in the first week of February.  Vottuvartha – a special bulletin focuses on burning issues and politics behind the election is broadcast in the channel. The new programme list will also feature titles such as Sarkar – a show about Indian political history since independence—that will cover all the twists, turns and political milestones. ‘Meet the people’ is a 20-episode media social audit where Manorama News builds a ground for the public to ask questions and share their opinions about their MP’s 5-year term. ‘Vottograph’ is a show in which eminent personalities from domains such as cinema, sports and literature would discuss politics and share their point of view.

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