Home >> Media-TV >> Article

Ratings with Responsibility: Rajat Sharma@NewsNext 2009

27-August-2009
Font Size   16
Ratings with Responsibility: Rajat Sharma@NewsNext 2009

Breaking away from the norm of the special addresses in the first half of NewsNext 2009, India TV’s Chairman and Editor-in-Chief, Rajat Sharma, delivered a significant part of his address in Hindi, and perhaps this helped him in establishing a connect with the audience right from the word go. He began his address by saying, “In any conversation on the quality of content and news selection, Hindi channels are attacked the most. I agree that this has been a cause of concern, but in the last six months, things have changed.”

New News, Old Views

The first key point coming from his address was that Hindi news channels have course corrected their content in the last six months, but the perception around the genre has not changed as yet. He said, “After 26/11, news channels had faced severe criticism from all sections. All disciplines and people behind the news channels have taken this criticism in a positive way, and there have been conscious efforts to change the content seen on television.”

He cited the recent example of swine flu to make his point. He said, “On the first day, it did appear that news channels were creating panic, but the moment they realised this, they got together and changed their approach towards a more positive and productive direction. All the news after that was about preparing the viewers for swine flu and disseminating relevant information. It leads you to think that in crisis, news channels can be responsible.”

“If anyone has observed news channels in the last few months, all the snake stories have gone away. The stories now are related to health. There is apt coverage on social issues and issues related to terrorism. So, perception should also change by now. The problem, however, is that people who make these comments about the irresponsible and frivolous content on news channels are clearly not viewing news channels and continuing with the old perception,” Sharma observed.

He urged the media owners and Minister of Information & Broadcasting, Ambika Soni, to actively seek a way of changing this perception.

Cooperation Instead of Control is Encouraging

Sharma futher said that the inclusive attitude of the current MIB had left a positive mark on everyone involved. He said, “The cooperation instead of control approach of the I&B Ministry has encouraged everyone, and everyone would support the MIB in regards to the on-going conversations on regulations.”

He took the conversation back to the importance of the news genre in the Indian scenario, and said, “In India, news consumption of channels and even in print is very high. One big question in context to regulation also emerges from public perception. Many times, people say that news channels are constantly airing negative news, but there is a need to look at some hard numbers before making that comment.”

He explained that in India, statistics around crime was so high that it was unfair to expect news channels to ignore this reality. There was a rape, murder, kidnapping and theft committed at an average of 25 minutes in India. He said, “When this is the plight, where will good news come from? Numbers show that 13 people die every hour in road accidents, won’t that make news?”

Looking ahead, he said, “We would be responsible in our news selection and what we show, but it has to be understood that some hard facts cannot be ignored, that would not be news. I do believe that when we are responsible, perhaps this conversation of control would go away. The current Ministry has been very cooperative. The air of suspicion that has been there in broadcasters is not there towards to the current Ministry.”

“Madam Minister (of Information & Broadcasting, Ambika Soni) said that there should be a body independent of the Government that can regulate news. More than that, I think the body should be represented by every member of the society and other stakeholders that can have a reason to complain against the broadcasters,” Sharma remarked.

He concluded by saying, “We are with you, and you have to be with us. Yes, we would want ratings and would refer to them, but our motto is ratings with responsibility.”

That Sharma had struck a chord with all those present was obvious by the enthusiastic round of applause that he received from the audience.

The event partner was Encompass.

Tags

Varun Raina, Marketing Manager, Airbnb India speaks to exchange4media about the successful #LiveThere campaign and how Bollywood helps them connect with its young consumer

Tim Castree is all praises for his team in India and trusts it to be a result of “an excellent execution of agency’s global strategy” headed by Kartik Sharma

Siddharth Dabhade says Criteo’s technology allows brands to engage with shoppers, create relevant experience on retail apps, thereby driving sales and profits

Shantanu Gangane says OTT platform Viu plans around 20+ originals and is all set to enter the Tamil market with a mix of syndicated and original content

right
left
OFF THE CUFF HAS JOURNALIST ARUN SHOURIE IN CONVERSATION WITH SHEKHAR GUPTA IN MUMBAI IAA HOSTS FIRST INDIAA REGIONAL AWARDS (TELUGU) IN HYDERABAD BREAK THE CEILING TOUCH THE SKY 2018 SEES OVERWHELMING INDUSTRY PARTICIPATION 10TH EDITION OF ABC EUREKA AWARDS IN MUMBAI CELEBRATES WORK OF PARTNER AGENCIES EMINENT JURY PICKS LOUDEST’S 100 MOST POWERFUL INDIAN MUSIC BUSINESS LEADERS MODE LOFT BY SABGROUP LAUNCHES SIGNATURE MENSWEAR POWER DRESSING CLOTHING LINE TOP MARKETERS DISCUSS ART AND SCIENCE OF EFFECTIVE LISTENING @PITCH CMO SUMMIT 2018, DELHI THIRD SEASON OF ‘INDIA’S TOP DIGITAL PLANNERS’ RECOGNIZES EXCELLENCE IN THE DIGITAL INDUSTRY WOMEN ECONOMIC FORUM 2018 SEES DISTINGUISHED GLOBAL PERSONALITIES IN ATTENDANCE PEPPER CREATIVE AWARDS 2018 RECOGNIZE THE BEST IN ADVERTISING IN SOUTH INDIA RADIO CITY’S POWER OF RADIO MEET HOSTS TOP ADVERTISING INDUSTRY LEADERS TOP INDUSTRY PERSONALITIES ATTEND ZOOM-MYNTRA EVENING TO CELEBRATE THEIR PARTNERSHIP LEADING MARKETERS, EXPERTS SHARE INSIGHTS ON DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION @ADOBE SYMPOSIUM IN MUMBAI NICKELODEON TRADE PARTY SEES MARKETING INDUSTRY LEADERS AND THEIR FAMILIES IN ATTENDANCE GOLDEN MIKES RADIO ADVERTISING AWARDS 2018 RECOGNIZE INDUSTRY’S MOST DESERVING ACHIEVERS AIMA MANAGING INDIA AWARDS HONOUR THE BEST IN THE INDUSTRY BW BUSINESSWORLD’S GREAT INDIA DEBATE BRINGS TOGETHER INTELLECTUALS ACROSS INDUSTRY SECTORS BW BUSINESSWORLD SMART CITIES CONCLAVE PATNA 2018 SEES EMINENT INDUSTRY LEADERS IN ATTENDANCE EMINENT JURY PICKS WINNERS OF GOLDEN MIKES RADIO ADVERTISING AWARDS MADDYS 2018 SEE TOP ADVERTISING AND MARKETING INDUSTRY LEADERS IN ATTENDANCE

He spent 13 years at HT; his previous stints include Whirlpool, Procter & Gamble and Godrej

The case study explains in detail the people strategy executed at GroupM to ensure its talent is digitally charged and is data-centric.

As Zee Telugu completes 13 years, Anuradha Gudur tells us about the channel’s journey