Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Changing times.

And this has nothing to do with the ToI. I really thought yesterday was a fairly newsy day - you know with India beating Australia in a proper-ish game of cricket instead of a slam-blam game of modified baseball after three years. Then there were governments falling left right and centre with the two national parties deciding to call their partners' bluff and stand up for themselves, and I am glad that the Congress and BJP finally showed some aggression and did not cow down to politicians who think they're too clever by half, or as in the case of Prakash Karat, serve Hu Jintao.
Nope, according to Aaj Tak, India's Sabse Tez channel, the ups and downs in John and Bipasha's relationship was more important on a day when the government of the country was on the verge of collapse. Which brought me back to a conversation an old friend had with me the other day, "What the hell is wrong with TV News?" And frankly, after searching high and low to find news on the Hindi channels (save two) I had to switch to the English Channels. But this is not the only time TV News has lost touch with reality, I know that P Sainath sounds like a grumpy old man with no clue of the changing times when he complains about the vacuousness of journalism, but sometimes even those of us two generations younger wonder what the hell we are doing in a profession that seems to have lost all sense of what it is supposed to be doing.
It's not just TV, in my last post I highlighted how even a large print organisation didn't do basic fact-checking and ran a story which was comically put down by a large international media organisation (and from what we have heard shit is already flying with at least one PR agency head pointing out to me that it was only a matter of time before someone got caught out in that paper). Stories are born in edit meetings where a reporter, or editor will say, "I know someone who does this.." and a social trend is suddenly created where none exist, and journalists have lost all touch with their readers - and thus reality.
So when the older generation of Editors whine and complain about where news is heading, they do have a point. I may not agree with them about everything, but I do feel sympathetic towards their opinions. And so do a lot of my friends, where are we heading? And what on earth will this profession look like in ten years time?

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

that's highly philosophical! guess you're growing old!

Sin said...

ditto to the sentiment expressed in the post.the stories news editors let pass and the questions they fail to ask of their reporters while doing so is apalling. on trends, the thumb rule seems to be: if it happens twice, it is a trend. thrice, and we have a revolutionary change on our hands.

Arijit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

u haven't seen the time when the grip of one particular business house on the media was at its peak: they could plant anything on any "editor" - I mean "editor" - and no fact checking would ever happen!!

- Bona

Sonali said...

Indian Advertisers held to Ransom by IBF

The festive season is on and this is buzzing time for all advertisers in the Indian advertising industry. Bang on this time all TV channels have unilaterally decided to increase rates by 25% through a surcharge route across all current and new deals...
This makes it incredibly difficult for all advertisers to even digest this very fact leave alone the notion of implementing it. This is a tragic and historic event going on in the Indian media industry which leaves all advertisers high and dry, when they should be raking in money during festive season sales.
HOW CAN SOMETHING LIKE THIS TO HAPPEN....? Don’t tell me this is Hitler’s era in the Indian media Industry.
AAAI which is the agencies association has completely opposed to this entire hullabaloo and indicated that most of the clients are dead against the surcharge. They have also written to all IBF member channels the schedules be carried uninterrupted as per pre-agreed terms without any surcharges. As this goes on, some clients have already threatened legal action against channels if their spots are not carried as per schedule.
AAAI categorically refuses channels acting in unison and increasing rates by fixed percentage by certain rates as against the idea of IBF advising its member channels to renege on existing agreement deals. As this drama goes on, IBF is allowing PSU and Govt clients to advertise without surcharge. They are also incentivizing clients to come directly to them by not applying the surcharge and running on existing rates. They have gone ahead and also accepting campaign from non AAAI agencies with a lower surcharge of 10%.
Hmmmm..... this gets murkier day by day.
More confusion….IBF has now announced 1 month waiver for advertisers complying to the surcharge and exempting southern TV channels (who have decided against IBF here)….again witness the arbitrary approach taken by IBF here.
What seemed to be rates disagreement earlier now seems to be a divide and rule policy only that it is not implemented by Britishers anymore but a funny Indian association called IBF.
ISA (Indian Society of Advertisers) has also completely trashed this whole idea of surcharges which do not make any sense.
Finally, what no one realizes is that, it hits us as consumers cos it is a direct impediment in the communication process between the advertiser and consumers, by media channels which are just communication couriers. Imagine you not coming to know about a great product which you did wait for quite some time to buy....?