Wednesday, July 22, 2009


I heard the phrase "BREAKING NEWS" for the first time on CNN, right after the 9/11 attack. It was flashing all day throughout the course of the entire episode. That was the period what I feel as "The Incubation" as far as the Indian television news channel industry was concerned. Very few players here then, who actually broadcast the BREAKING NEWS themselves. At that time I yearned for WHEN, will such a kind of quick response news be aired LIVE or in other words, news be broken on an Indian News Television. As time passed by, the Indian News Channel industry bloomed and umpteen number of News Channels came into existence and my yearning finally started to recede. For once I was happy on the fact that our Indian News channels have started to compete with the News Channel giants across the world in providing quality "BREAKING NEWS". But today, the objective of our news channels have shifted greatly into a way of using "BREAKING NEWS" everyday for highlighting all sort of stories which are not way worth it making to that category and hence the whole meaning, importance and essence of "BREAKING NEWS" is totally lost.

The trend as on date of our news channels are of providing EXCLUSIVE news footage rather than the actual news conveyed in its true sense. Every news channel on a daily basis will definitely have at least one such news item to use as their USP (sounds funny for a news channel though). With the advent of Internet, telecom and technology its happy to see the advancements in news channels (be it Online opinion polls or the Sms polls etc) but the questions many a time taken up for discussions or opinion polls aren't actually the questions that arise based on a particular news event but rather a discussion which actually gives new dimensions to the issue which dilutes the actual issue discussed in first place.

There was once a time where controversies or issues were brought to the light by news media but now the news media itself is being used as a medium to spark controversies and then being broadcast as something EXCLUSIVE caught on tape, making the little known people involved in it, a celebrity, overnight. It would be really incomplete if the advertisements doesn't have a mention here. Are the advertisements in midst of news or the other way round ?? Day by day the news footage space on screen is reducing with more and more advertisement blocks occupying the bottom of the TV screen.

Nowadays more often than not the News Media have come under the scanner of the Information & Broadcasting Ministry citing the media coverage of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks for instance. I feel the media hype or the media frenzy (to be more apt) that was created for the Swine Flu here has made the common man panic rather than be aware. The opportunistic side of such adverse coverage of Swine Flu situation has resulted in the sky rocketing demands for the face mask and medicines (that supposedly said they had cures for the Flu).

In a nutshell the news on TV is more of "re-engineered" news and "highlighted" entertainment rather than what it truly needs to be.

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