News Next 2019: Panellists say digital not a threat but complements TV

Panellists discuss the ‘Challenges faced by the TV industry in India: How social media is radically changing the newsroom’ at the 11th edition of exchange4media News Broadcasting Awards 2018

News Next Panel 1

Social media and the issues related to it are not confined to newsrooms. It is something that challenges the society as well. It’s an opportunity and a challenge at the same time.

At the 11th edition of exchange4media News Broadcasting Awards (enba), a panel discussion was held on ‘The challenges faced by the TV industry in India: How social media is radically changing the newsroom’. The session was moderated by Sudhir Mishra, Founder & Managing Partner, Trust Legal. The panellists were Varun Kohli, CEO, iTV network and Chetan Sharma, Founder CEO and Editorial Director, India Ahead News.

At the beginning of the discussion Mishra stated that the traditional medium of a correspondent has been permanently disrupted. “Social media is a big opportunity, where we can now interact with viewers directly and they also get a chance to comment, which was not there earlier. The newsrooms are getting ready with an interactive kind of platform.”

He asked the panel members, how social media is affecting the newsrooms and what’s the biggest challenge for the television medium? 
Kohli said, “For us it is an opportunity rather than a challenge. Digital has given a new platform where it gives a huge feedback on what our stories are; both the system of ratings for digital and TV are totally different. Digital has become one of the prime medium; breaking news is the order of the day. As far as TV medium goes, both complement each other.”

Sharma said, “We are battling the credibility of news in conventional media. The opportunity is very critical to understand what social media is. It has now become source of news and the fact is, it’s so instinctive, measurable and dynamic in nature. The sourcing of it requires special hands, which are multi- tasked.” 

He further added, “Digital is not replacing conventional media; it is supporting, complementing and is supplementary. It is a great supplement and we have to be intelligent to understand this. Digital measurement is far more transparent as compared to conventional media.”

When Mishra asked Kohli to name a newsroom they admire in the world, he quickly replied, “CNN, the way they have mapped up, changed over a period of time, it is worth watching.”

Sharma too agreed with Kohli, “CNN has been a signature in many ways.”

Mishra asked Sharma to define the disruption in the newsroom keeping social media in mind, to which Sharma replied, “My process cost become lower because we disseminate the information’s on two sides, using the same devices. Very importantly, we chose to have a very young newsroom, because we want to get relevance from people who are moving away from traditional TV.”

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