Contemporary Indian Newsroom Debates

Lately, I've been glued to the television screen, due to different circumstances. My favorite genre? News, just like the scores of Indian men and many women wanting a slice of the 'current'. Controversies, policies, decisions, international affairs, sports and entertainment, the news is all-encompassing.  The newsroom debates on Indian Television have become sharper, more direct and testing. Surely, not everyone enjoys the format and content of newsroom debates these days. However, this kind of a format is here to stay. Why do I say so? Because the data says so. BARC (Broadcast Audience Research Council India) data suggests that audience is consuming news in this new genre. 

The below-mentioned illustration (TRP ratings of prominent English news channels from 9th Dec 2017 to 15th Dec 2017) justifies the point presented earlier. 
Week 50: Saturday, 9th December 2017 to Friday, 15th December 2017
RankChannel NameWeekly Impressions (000s) sum
  Week 50
1Republic TV982
2Times Now864
3India Today Television462
4CNN News18329
5NDTV 24x7252
All India (U+R) : NCCS AB : Males 22+ Individuals, To get this data on your Twitter timeline, tweet with #BarcTweet Top 5 English News Channels
SOURCE: BARC Data -Dec 2017
Recent data points suggest that channels like Republic TV and Time Now get the maximum share of audience attention. However, the pertinent question that we need to be asking, is "Why are we consuming news in this fashion?) The reasons are many. The strongest reason being the need for instant vindication, the need for aggression, the sense of restlessness and inability to disagree peacefully. Logic and reasoning have a brief shelf life and a feeling of instant gratification is far more satisfying than engaging in long debates that are nuanced, prefaced and have reference points that go beyond the immediate requirement. 

Is the trend here to stay? Data does suggest so. This kind of a trend is probably here to stay. Political affiliations and lobbies are getting stronger. Newsrooms are the new courtrooms. Newsrooms are the new electorate and newsrooms are the new parliament. Decisions of the judiciary are being questioned vociferously, exit polls are becoming bigger and new legislation are being discussed in detail, even before being fully conceptualized. It's worrying in a way. It's encouraging too. Modern Newsrooms and debates have created a great deal of curiosity amongst the public. People are now more participative and vocal about their thoughts and ideas. Spokespersons are now being taken seriously and many of them come well-prepared to face the camera and the questions which are direct, hard-hitting, thought-provoking, closed and sharp on most news channels. An extraordinarily engaged section of audience seeks qualitative information, logic, and responsibility for the responses and opinions. Every word counts. Every person is a potential influencer and nothing goes unheard. There is an organized attempt to present the best to the audience today. Beyond TRP and beyond rhetoric, a sense of being 'watched' engulfs the contemporary India newsroom debate today, albeit a little noisier and a little more chaotic. To succeed in the newsroom war, you need to sweat it out! In the end, its indeed gratifying to see everyone flex their vocals as much as their minds in the attempt to woo mindsets. 


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