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May 30, 2018

Essay : News Channels have Turned into Entertainment Channels

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News Channels have Turned into Entertainment Channels 

  • Stiff competitions among news channels.
  • Channels cater entertaining content for getting high TRP. 
  • Paid news are telecasted by news channels. 
  • The changes in news channels : from serious news reporting to sensational news. 
  • Newreader lost their popularity. 
  • Prime time news anchors become the face of the channels.
  • Social and moral responsibilities of journalists.
There is an old quote, 'Quality is Better Than Quantity.' This is something which Indian news channels of the present era need to understand. As the media sector is seeing cut-throat competition,
the news channels now-a-days resort to anything and everything they could possibly do to fetch high TRPs. TRP, as known popularly, is the target racing point for calculation purpose. This device, also known as peoples' meter judges and records the time and the programme that a viewer wathces on a particular day.

News channels have steered their wheels towards entertainment because the just causes of real and serious issues are not capable of catching the interest of the viewers, thus reducing their profit. Entertainment has encroached much space in the news channel because of the hype, sensational and voyeuristic opportunities it has to offer. Competition is also one major reason that compelled news channel to take shape of infotainment channels i.e. telecasting informative as well as entertaining content. News channel had no option that to spice and garnish issues with drama to vie away other channel from their share of TRP and profit. Infotainment will remain a strong presence on news channel till the Indian viewership matures, in order to pull the maximum revenue from the viewers.

Paid news had also become a huge, source of income for news channels. Paid news is promotion of institution, products, services etc that have paid for it. This is much like advertisement. There are several dedicated news channels that broadcast information round the clock. But now these channels have taken form of entertainment channel. They are more concerned about the celebrity's personal life, a politician's property, popularity of daily soaps, winners of reality shows etc rather than real issues concerning the public. In the past, news channels were largely focussed on hourly news bulletins comprising major political and other news events, human interest stories, sports and entertainment stories. But now-a-days news channels have moved from serious news reporting and analysis to tabloid

television, sensational, impactful and dramatic-format which relies more on breaking news of every kind rather than serious news. The prime time has become a platform for political debates where representatives of major political parties speak less on merit of issues and more about party view points, thus making their presence redundant as far as the issue is concerned.

Till a decade ago news channels were known for their news content, editorial standards, degree of impartiality and unbiased telecasts. But gradually news channel are covering special programmes on entertainment available just like on other channels viz 'Sags, Bahu aur Betiyaan' on Aaj Tak and `Saas, Bahu aur Saajish' on Star News. They also have special shows to catch up with celebrities and their partying ways, much like the Page 3 coverage in newspapers, viz. shows such as 'Night Out' on NDTV. On some Telugu news channels, special programmes showcases functions where the sound tracks of movies are released.

News reader and weekly debate anchors that were also newsreaders on week days were known as professional television journalists working for a certain channel. They were known for their reading skill, presentation style, language proficiency and other professional skills. Today newsreaders are old hats or non-entities to be more precise. They have been replaced by prime time news hour anchors that are the face of their respective channels. In fact, they are not only just the face of channel but become celebrities and brands bigger than channel. As a result, today certain channels are known by their star anchors like Arnab Goswami, Barkha Dutt, Rajdeep Sardesai and Rajat Shallna, to name just a few, just as daily soaps are known by their main characters and TV stars that play them.

Now, the question arises that why the news channels have deviated themselves from their primary duty? On most news channels politicaljgovernment news was given prominence, followed by crime /law and order. The time has conic when some introspection by the Indian media is required. The defects should ideally be addressed and corrected in a democratic manner. Such irresponsible journalism should be discarded. Journalists cannot avoid their social and moral responsibilities towards the society. Their work demand portraying the real truth of the society. So, they must not compromise with anything to reveal the truth.

Difficult Words with Meanings :
  • Encroached intrude to go beyond the usual or proper limits
  • Hype extravagant or intensive publicity or promotion
  • Voyeuristic a person who likes seeing and talking or writing about something that is considered to be private
  • Vie compete eagerly with someone to achieve something
  • Bulletins a brief account or statement issued for information of the public
  • Tabloid a short form or version, condensation, summary
  • Redundant being in excess; exceeding what is usual or natural
  • Deviated to turn aside, as from a route, way, course etc
  • Prominence the state of being important or noticeable.
shared by Nisheeta Mirchandani
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