Saturday, April 12, 2008

TV9, The News Channel

I don't know when exactly it was conceived and born, but I noticed during my recent trip to Bangalore that our TV, most of the times, was tuned to a channel TV9. It instills an intense fear in me as I write this article for the reasons you'll know soon.

It is one of among those plethora of Indian news channels which is more entertaining than being informative. The best part of this channel is that it transmogrifies the news into something that resembles soap operas. The logistics of the channel is very unique, it saves money on the reporters' salaries by turning the public into reporters. They give the telephone number to which the public can call and report any local news. Sounds interesting isn't it? Public acting as journalists!!!

But as mentioned earlier, it's one of the best entertainment channels beating the shit out "The Great Indian Laughter Challenge". The sort of news broadcast on this channel includes the infamous nalli jagaLas (ladies fighting at the tap for collecting water) or wives of a polygamist beating him up in public or child getting stuck inside the bore-well or illegitimate affairs of a temple seer. Trivial as it may seem, each of these so called, news item is dragged, repeated and hackneyed for hours and at times, days together. I still remember watching "wives of a polygamist beating him up in public" case. He was despised so much by the reporter and the wives were pummeling, kicking and bashing the guy in public tearing his shirt and calling names. The very next day I was amazed to see the same guy condemned by the wives, was dressed like a gentleman in the studio of TV9 channel and was now the hero of the whole episode. It seems the wives who were supported by the media the previous day, were a bunch of criminals known for such acts!!! No mames wey!!!

Apart from such conflicting news, another feature worth mentioning about this channel is "Repetition Rate" and "Drag length". The video report shown for a particular news, you get a feel that the broadcasting device is conked-off and repeating the video over and over and over and over again. You can try this...watch the first seen, close your eyes, count 10 pulses, open your eyes...I bet you will be watching the same scene. The reports will be sometimes nagged for days. When a boy had fallen inside a narrow bore-well, the whole report was shown live...rescue team arrival, discussion, digging the earth, having lunch, digging further, parents praying, grandparents sobbing, having dinner, reaching him, rescuing, happy parents, happy friends, happy grandparents, happy rescuers, bidding good bye...which was followed by expert's opinions on bore-wells and children's safety for next couple of days!!!

I guess as long as there are watchers there will be news channels broadcasting loads and loads of quality crap. There are better things in this world to be talked and discussed about. If you're wondering what they are...global warming, election campaigns, snail paced road constructions in Bangalore...to name a few. And again, please don't talk about these for days together. Make quality news with lesser quantity...it'll be more appropriate and appreciated.
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