Skip to main content

BREAKING NEWS: Hindi news channels - waste of time

The worst thing to have happened to Indian television, after saas-bahu sagas, are some of the Hindi news channels. These channels are not interested in telecasting news and events from around India, let alone the world. All they seem to be interested in is titilation and garnering maximum eye-balls, HOOK OR BY CROOK. The result: Hindi TV news channels have increased thier "fan following" by leaps and bounds.

The pits
The worst of the lot, in my opinion, is India TV. You can hardly call it a news channel as the only thing it is interested in doing is spreading superstition and sleaze. From telecasting a half-hour program on a wedding of a dog with a bitch, in Ahmedabad, India, and moderating a debate between a warring husband and a wife undergoing a painful divorce for the entire nation to watch when actually the two parties should be doing this in the privacy of thier own homes, to telecasting numerous shows on ghosts and spirits, India TV has done everything that a responsible news channel shouldn't. And all this, when its Editor-in-Chief, Rajat Sharma proclaims that thier viewers would want to know about all of that. I had a lot of respect for Sharma once, as I used to watch his series 'Junta Ki Adalat' or whatever it was called. I no longer relate to his kind of journalism.

One regional news channel had even conducted a fake sting operation where the reputation of a school teacher was permanently scared because of what some media reports alledged a personl dispute between her and the reporter who carried out the fake sting.

The other two news notorious Hindi news channels, Zee News and Aaj Tak are no less. Crime shows are a regular at these channels and they just seem to go on and on and on. In one crime show - I think that comes on India TV - the host wears a police uniform and the program's name is ACP Arjun! The anchor of Zee News' crime show is full of drama and talks as if a horror film director is narrating his up-coming script to a potential actress, full of 'passion', 'emotion', 'drama' and horror written all over his face, nothing of which is convincing and instead makes the anchor look like a clown. There is a program called 'Breaking News' on one of these channels. Surely Breaking news can happen at any time, why have a fixed program at a fixed time for it. Speaking of which, some Hindi news channels show breaking news after every 1/2 hour. There can't be so many breaking news throughout the day, 365 days a year!

Star News, I am also told, thrives a lot on gossip. I do not watch any of the above news channels, but on flipping channels once long back, I landed up on Star News when coincidentally Aishwarya Rai was injured on the sets of the movie 'Khakhee' and was bring chartered to Mumbai when the newsreader on this channel alledgely asked the reporter present at the airport whether Vivek Oberoi had a bouquet of flowers in hands for his damsel who was about to land! You would know that at that time, the two were reportedly a couple.

Ban their licences?
My ex-cable operator had told me once that according to the Government of India (GOI) norms, all cable TV operators must cumpulsorily show all news channels, in national interest. They can be selective about entertainment channels depending upon the aggreement between them and the channels. I do not know if this is true. But if it is, then the GOI must review its policies and perhaps selectively revoke the licences of a few of such news channels that actually are entertainment channels, disguising themseleves as news channels. News channels, especially some Hindi ones, must pull up thier socks and start telecasting news of national interest, rather than their own.

Ultimately, the remote control is with us, the viewer. Nobody forces us to watch anything on TV. The choice is ours. As responsibile citizens of this country, we must encourage good journalism and throw bad journalism out of the window. I am not saying there is no place for entertainment or sports or such items in a news capsule. But a 30-minute news capsule that devotes 20 minutes or more to items such as Bipasha Basu's kiss with the football star, for instance, is no news and only entertainment. How much of entertainment should be contained in a 30-minute news capsule, must be responsibly ascertained by their editors

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

US-64 DRAWS TO A CLOSE; WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?

As the country oldest mutual fund scheme, now US-64 Bonds, are set be redeemed, it’s tough to find an equally alternative investment. There are some that come closeThe oldest mutual fund scheme in India, Unit Trust of India (UTI)’ Unit Scheme – 64 (US-64), will soon be no more. After more than 40 years of existence, curtains will fall on the US-64 bonds that mature on 31 May 2008. UTI has already sent out letters to all bond-holders about the redemption; investors are told to submit their original certificates, take their money back and leave.

For investors like Kolkata-based, Kumaresh Mukherjee, 72 it’s the end of an era. Soon after he retired from Philips India, he invested his provident fund corpus in fixed – return instruments like company fixed deposits. An electrical engineer by profession, in 1995 he also invested Rs 12 lakh or around one-third of his retirement corpus in the erstwhile US-64. After years of above-average returns, then trapped doors and turmoil that shook the Ind…

Pay Credit Card Bills Through ATMs

Tired of being ignored by ICICI Bank credit cards by being left out of their premium services despite being a loyal customer, I got myself a new credit card by HDFC Bank. It's another thing that HDFC Bank promised me a gold card with a higher spending limit, but then threatened to give me a silver card. When I strongly protested to their ways, they issued me a gold card, but with a much-lower-than-promised spending limit. I think the credit card companies ought to be made more accountable through stricter laws that are widely publicised (I recently read an RBI advertisement in the paper that if a credit card company rejects your application for a credit card, it has to give the reasons in writing; I never knew that!!!) and ought to made to pay for promising one thing, but delivering something totally different. SBI Cards too chased me for a month last year and promised to give me a platinum card with a high spending limit. What I finally got was a much-watered down Gold Card with …

My first ever Rajdhani experiance

As a kid, the Mumbai-New Delhi Rajdhani Express used to be this legend that I dreamt often. Although train travel was an integral part of my childhood, Rajdhani remained a distant dream. A dream that only zipped past me at 120 km/hr overtime I saw it. A dream that announced it arrival from a great, great distance by the sounds of twin diesel locomotives and its generator cars at either sides of the rake. A sound that was as intimidating to rail enthusiasts like me as a Bullet motorcycle is to a biker. In those days, it used to be hauled by two diesel locomotives so that it wouldn't need to spend much time at Vadodra station changing its locomotives. One of the two diesel locos would detach itself from the train and the other one who simply haul it al the way to Delhi. When I used to go to Valsad during some of my summer holidays at my cousin's house, it was a ritual. Take a picnic basket, leave the house at sharp 6, go to the yard just before the station, position ourselves on…