Tuesday, March 3, 2009
I have been watching news since my childhood. To start with it was Hindi as I could not understand the fast English accent of the news-readers. By the time I was in the standard 6, I started watching English news for more than 1 reason. I find it less-fussy and no-nonsense as compared to regional news shows. As I am posting a lot of personal experiences, I got feedback on writing on other issues that I like. Well I love sports; Tennis, Cricket and F1. I follow politics regional & national. I am a big movie buff and listen to all kind of music. I was/am a literature student, so my admiration to Shakespeare and gang will be obvious. My profession is into Human Resources but I love the creative field. And the creative field includes advertising, media (print & electronic), event management and finally today's Page 3. And last but not the least, I am a techno-freak. This is my first post in this series where I believe I can write on all these topics from time to time.
Here goes my tribute to media & journalism and a channel that re-invented these.
In the year 2003 a channel was launched that has simply revolutionized the way people used to watch news. It changed many things starting from the content, it's presentation, fresh & more appealing programme concepts and most importantly a host of people who not only understood journalism but redefined it. This includes names like Burkha Dutt, Rajdeep Sardesai, Arnab Goswami, Vikram Chandra headed the by undoubtedly the big daddy of Indian journalism Dr. Prannoy Roy. Though NDTV's existence was there much before 2003 in different associations and formats right since from 1988. It all started when New Delhi Television has privately produced a weekly half-hour show "The World This Week" for DD that was aired on Fridays. It has produced a series of successful and award-winning shows like "Jeena Isi Ka Naam Hai" , "Jai Jawaan", "We the People" and "The Big Fight"; the other news channels also learned few lessons how news can be presented as it is without adding any masala in it.
NDTV has got uncountable milestones of 'firsts' attached to it's feathers in its illustrious journey over last two decades. It was the first private producer of news in India ending DD's monopoly and government controlled broadcasting, the first to use beta cam, the first to go digital. In 1989 NDTV produced India’s first live televised coverage of the country’s general elections. In 1998, NDTV was the sole content provider for the 24-hour news channel, Star News. In April 14th, 2003 it has launched two 24-hour news channel NDTV 24×7 in English and NDTV India in Hindi. After that it only moved on & on launching one the best business channel NDTV Profit in 2005. In late 2008 NDTV forayed into more niche segment starting two more channels, NDTV Imagine and NDTV Good Times. These two channels were a joint venture with different corporates.
During this course of NDTV's ascent it has seen many of it's initial employees leaving and starting up their own ventures. Rajdeep Sardesai who was the managing editor of NDTV from 2003 to 2005 and become a household name as the host of "The Big Fight" has now the editor-in-chief of CNN-IBN. Arnab Goswami has moved on to become the editor-in-chief of Times Now. And these are two credible English news channels in India apart from NDTV. Many argue with me, but I always felt that both Rajdeep & Arnab has evolved and passed out from Prannoy's school of journalism. So I always give credit to Pranoy for this.
The currency of news journalism is ethics & credibility. News is a serious business and should have high quality content, credible coverage and representation and responsible journalism with producers who will not go down the tabloid route ever. NDTV represents all these qualities. And, thanks to the a CA who later worked for PWC before setting up NDTV, Dr. Prannoy Roy.
Enough for today, next time it will be CNN-IBN & Times Now who are really becoming biggest threats to NDTV in coming years. But at the end of it I am happy that I & the viewers have a choice now. They just don't have to watch the monotonous, repetitive, dull, tailored & terribly produced news by DD and all those so-called "breaking news" & sansanikhej channels!!!