TV ratings are a combination of multiple factors: Anand Narasimhan, CNN-News18
Former Times Now Senior Editor, Narasimhan, joined CNN-News18 as Deputy Executive Editor in August this year. He shares his experience of the new role at the network
Former Times Now Senior Editor, Anand Narasimhan, joined CNN-News18 as Deputy Executive Editor in August, 2018. Narasimhan is not a new name in the broadcast industry. An MBA graduate who worked as a media planner with Group M, he stumbled into broadcast after he won ‘Dream Job – Harsha Ki Khoj’ in 2005. His decade and a half broadcast career has seen him progress from a Sports Presenter with ESPN Star Sports to a full time TV media journalist with Times Now and now the News 18 Network.
Speaking to exchange4media, Narasimhan shares his experience of the new role at the new network and about his new primetime show ‘The Right Stand’.
On the Journey
The journey with Network 18 is exciting and different. More importantly, there is purpose which is actually driving me to excel. I came here with a particular objective and the network is not just a pool of resource but also of information. You have the ability to reach 67 crore people with a network of 19 channels in the news business which allows you to tap into and pull out stories and issues, this sets the network apart from anybody else. People here are seasoned journalists and fantastic to work with.
On ‘The Right Stand’
The show aims to appeal to the intellect of the audience. More importantly, it means picking up social issues, people issues and taking the right stand in favour of the people; that is something I have been very clear about since the start of my broadcast career.
The first week ratings have been encouraging, usually a new show on a new channel or a platform with a very different perspective takes time to settle in. I would say that the ratings were far more encouraging and it will only get stronger. Ratings are a combination of multiple factors in terms of market share, chasing stories we do, and, of course, the audience that will take time to come in. I will not base my judgement on the show on the basis of ratings. We are just three-four weeks into the show but people are noticing, be it a political party, viewers or even trade. The challenge is to ensure stickiness and so far we have been able to do that.
On the news genre evolving in India
The biggest shift today is that people are not afraid of taking a position and the same stories can be interpreted in five different ways. The beauty of the Indian media today is that you can watch one story on five different channels, which allows viewers to get a 360 degree perspective. It is not just plain news that you watch, there is a lot of editorialisation and opinions behind it, and people are taking a stand. It's a new dynamic within the industry. Every show you watch, and you may be watching the same news, but it feels and looks different.
On Social Media
Today social media platforms are not just a source for news but also a source of engagement. You have BARC ratings which come as far as the television ratings are concerned but a huge amount of engagement happens for a show or for a channel on social media including consumption of news. There is some news that develops on social media but those need to be verified by our team of reporters.
There will be innovations within the broadcast, there will be connectivity which will happen. I am part of the largest news network of this country so if there is an opportunity to reach out to 67 crore people, the strength of the network will be put to use. The audience will see election news coverage, reportage and updates like never before because we will use the network's strength. Other news networks claim to have multiple channels or platforms but they tend to work in silos, which is not what is happening at Network18.
If the complaint is credible and the charge is strong in the case of harassment then there is no two thoughts about it. But there has to be a formal process and it should go via channels and if you have an internal complaint committee, the complaint has to be registered, both of them should get a chance to defend themselves or even make accusations. The dignity of a woman at a workplace is of utmost importance but misusing #MeToo is wrong. #Metoo does not apply only to women it applies to everyone.
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