Mumbai: English News Broadcasting in India has never been so swift as it was always used to be at ease under the hands of few jurnous until 2005.
However, the English News Broadcast space started picking phase with many new entrants like CNN-IBN from Network18 that was launched in 2005 by RajdeepSardesai, Times NOW from BCCI that was launched in 2006 under the leadership another ex NDTV reporter ArnabGoswami.
While The news loving audience who were looking for a change, immediately gave CNN-IBN a big thumps-up, even though the channel was launched without even a proper marketing initiative. Whereas, Times NOW struggled to stand against the big wings NDTV and CNN IBN with least importance being extended to the channel in all corridors of power. But ArnabGoswami went on to redefine the space with his own style of Journalism. Soon audience got attracted to his style and became a new trendsetter.
This prompted the laid back traditional jurnos to buckled up and search for the army bunkers and hidden cameras to conduct sting operations.
Bulletins to Debate:
Soon the bulletin formats that followed the foot prints of BBC and CNN with high standard of English has changed in to high decibel debates with a panel of experts in multiple windows to voice their opinions. There were occasions when channels were competing to show their might with more number of windows than experts panelists.
From English to Hinglish:
With more debates engaging politicians from across the country few even took the comfort of jumping in to Hindi in-order to put a brave fight against the opponents and the anchors too. The role of the anchor as a moderator prompted them to give back in there own languages and soon it became style, which also happened to be Arnab’s style or specialty.
Now, with Republic TV being positioned as a full-length debate channel, with extraordinary partnership with many regional news broadcast networks, has established itself as a News Broadcaster with widest reach from the day one. Moreover, with the kind of sensational exposes like #Lalu Tapes, #ArvindKejrival Corruption and #SashiTharoor links in Sunandhapushkars death, the channel is raging in hourly basis and became the talk of the country within few hours of launch.
Despite preventive steps being taken by the competitors, the “best laid plans of Arnab” seems to breaching their entire forte. Now, the English News Broadcasting space is need of bracing up for the Republic Impact on hourly basis. With new issues cropping up in the country with every new exposes, the competitors’ news channels are forced to do a follow-up story on the burning topics that will result in default mileage to Republic. If they ignore it then it comes at the cost of depriving its viewers, which is directly proportionate to drop in viewership.
At this juncture Times NOW the leaders in the English News space has strategically placed its morning debates in Hindi. thus, trying to attract a chunk of audience from Hindi News Space. Though the channel has not officially declared it as a strategic move. The reason behind such decision is pretty obviously due to the changing scenarios in English News Broadcasting space and its desperation to remain strong in that space.
The changing scenario has also prompted industry observers to take note of the situation. PradeepDiwedi – CEO of Sakal Media said, Suddenly English News channels have realised there is a world outside of Delhi and Metros. Also, this may be a knee jerk reaction to Republic, but Republic has tied up with regional news feeds and not going regional. It was nice to hear Reporters with a tinge of local flavour in their English.
Asked about how the Broadcaster Association is reacting to this, he said everybody is waiting and watching.
While the anchors take a bit of Hindi dip and revert back to their English like Zakka Jacob and Cricketer Srikanth did during the coverage of Save Jallikattu Protest, wherein they both made CNN-News18 – a Tamil News channel by debating in Tamil for few minutes. However, the Times NOW’s act of making the morning News Hour time band completely in Hindi language raises questions on how English News Channels can be positioned in ratings charts with such kind of unexpected deviations in their programming pattern…?
Well they may have to think of a new segment – preferably Hinglish News Channels….!