Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Contemporary format of News Shows: a case study.

Hello Netizens.

What's on?

Today, i would like to take up the case of format of the news-shows aired on private news channel.Tell me what do you think about it?

Examining the elements of a Talk Show.
Name of the Talk-show: “Face the Nation”.
Anchor/ host: Sagarika Ghose.
News channel: CNN – IBN.
Date of Telecast: 25-9-08.

Segment: Crossfire.
Issue/ Topic: Is U.P. exporting Terror?
Guests: Y.P. Singh (Former A.C.P., Mumbai), Rashid Alvi (Cong M.P.), Sharat Pradhan (Senior Journalist in the studios with Sagarika.)

While watching the analytical talk show, Face the Nation hosted by one of the eminent faces of electronic journalism, Miss. Sagarika Ghose I came across some peculiar characteristics of present day broadcast media. Our paper shall discuss the trends followed in the present broadcast arena.

Sagarika began the show by putting forth the issue of the recent terror acts in the capital and highlighting of U.P. as a terror hub/den. While ACP Singh and Cong M.P.
Rashid Alvi where answering her queries through Videoconferencing. Special guest, Senior Journalist, Sharat Pradhan was analyzing the statements made as well as the statements put forward by Sagarika.
The question put forward first was-(A) (Sagarika): Why did the blasts took place?
(ACP Singh): The police was not efficient enough in its processing.
-(B) Secondly, (Sagarika): Quoting British P.M. Tony Blair “ we cant afford to be volatile towards the second largest religious community in the world as it is they(the Muslims) who can aid us in tackling world terror.” Do you agree?
(M.P. Rashid Alvi): We cannot blame a single community for the acts of a few.
- (C) Thirdly, (Sagarika): Is U.P. a breeding ground for gangsters of organized crime , backed by statistics and data of presence of anti-social elements at Meerut, Bulandsahar,
(ACP Singh): Religious conservatism was the root cause of such actions.
(D) Count erpoint made by Sagarika at this juncture while still introspecting the issue at hand. “Organized Crime” in cities like Mumbai carried on in full swing earlier was known to be recruits from U.P.
(E) She then put forward a question to Rashid Alvi “Is Police communalizing the investigation processes”?
- (Rashid Alvi): During the investigations after the blasts, Muslims in areas as Azamgarh, Meerut & Bulandsahar are feeling alienated as the community living there are
typecast with Sagarika interrupting in between by stating the phrase, “Police arrest any
Dari topi waala” (person with a beard and a skull-cap), to which the MP replied that intelligence inputs are poor. He made a suggestion to back his statement; Muslim leadership should come forward to lend transparency to the number of Madrasas.
(77 Madrasas are registered in U.P.)
(F) (Sagarika): “Should we in such a situation expect politicians to be playing a socially
Constructive role”?
- (Sharat Pradhan, Senior Journalist): While we are discussing and analyzing about the cause and effect of the terror acts, the real culprits/ brain behind such acts are slipping away (even if he/she is a Muslim/ Hindu)
The ACP concludes the show by saying that a single community is being charged
given the blame and this was so due to poor quality of investigations.

After evaluating the show we touch upon trends of new-age electronic journalism. The following Points will give us a clear picture-

(1) The show is meant for half an hour (30 mins. Running time).It actually ran for 25-26 mins which indicates commercialism, unhealthy competition between various pvt. News channels.
(2) The points answered were apparent layers of the vast and complex issue of terrorism. Untouched perspectives were not brought out.

(3) The host was taking bytes of each guest present very rapidly which highlights
Trends of expedience.

(4) Messages or Advertisements ran within a space of 5 mins twice denoting
(5) Answers were not encompassing the issue fully .For e.g. ACP Singh’s answer
To Sagarika’s question no.3 “Is U.P. a breeding ground for organized crime”……?
“These are all related to religious conservatism.”
He should have explained what “Religious Conservatism” is and how it can be the driving force behind organized crime. Otherwise the viewer grasps a vague angle of
The issue which leads more confusion and misinterpretation.

(6) Speaking from a Democratic perspective, the persons brought as guests represent
a specific strata of our country’s administrative-setup. They do not represent the masses as a whole and also there should have been an audience present in the news
Centre itself which could also have been beneficial for shaping public opinion.
Thank you all,
Keep bloggging.

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