On the editorial reasoning behind TV’s entertainment focus

At at time when every f’in news channel is focusing on the wedding of two Bollywood stars – even CNBC-TV18 had updates yesterday…ridiculous – here’s someone who tells it as it is:

Most channels fill up airtime based on a series of assumptions that some smart management cookie dishes out to gullible television programmers, producers and editors. Fact is there is just no credible benchmark in this country to evaluate either viewer choices or opinions. Second, there is no accurate data of profiles of people who regularly switch to news television everyday. Third, there is complete absence of any reliable and authentic study of viewer expectations from news television channels. Fourth, there is just no research of what the opportunity costs in the television industry are. For instance, will a corporate executive or a BPO employee ever watch news television when there is an opportunity to catch some sport action or a movie?

Read the entire blog post, titled “Moronic Media” by V.K. Shashikumar of CNN-IBN here.

It’s one of those “gosh, I wish I had written that” kind of posts, though I think have said pretty many of things he has, in bits and pieces, over the years. I think TV News’ entertainment focus is largely advertiser driven…at times it appears that stories are advertorials. What’s incredible is that this criticism also covers the channel CNN-IBN, and is up on IBNlive. Looks like they don’t censor their bloggers. Good stuff.

P.s.: Among my half written posts is: “On HR Issues and editorial evaluation in the media”. Had begun writing it after attending the Human Capital Forum organized by FMCC, on the 3rd of Feb. Wasn’t covering it, but had just been made editor, so thought I’d get some gyan. What I found strange then was that while senior editors sat and discussed how difficult to evaluate editorial performance, and how marketing can quantify their returns, but editorial can’t — no one spoke about integrity in reportage, and the issue of editorial selection of content.

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