38516519-Telugu-News-Channels - Changing Priorities of...

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T elevision both reflects and affects society like no other medium that came before it. Because of the power of this medium, the television industry affects everyone. The power of the medium is used to get profits; after all it is a commercial medium. Most of the channels never hesitate to buy this argument. Those who do not subscribe to this theory may try to say that they feel it a responsibility towards the society, the feeble voice itself is a testimony to their commercial motives. The sole aim of the television is to gather viewers for the advertisements. So, the programming always revolves round the simple theory of ‘what people like’ and in the process the aspect of ‘what people need’ is conveniently ignored. This theory of television, though appear rude, is indisputable. The changing pattern of content of the news channels explains the relative priority given to ‘what people like to watch’ rather than ‘what people need’. With the advent of the news channels, the conventional dichotomy between news and entertainment has been blurred and as a result, news has become a component t of the entertainment industry. With the mushrooming of the news channels, in order to earn the viewership, the upcoming channels are left with no option but to spice up their news content with the elements that constitute entertainment. Why News Channels? Those who wish to enter the media for a plethora of reasons are left with two options: either the print or the TV channel. For obvious reasons, the days for the single edition –black and white daily newspapers are surely numbered. To stay in the market one has to come up with multi-editions in multi colours along with district tabloids and other supplements. For one need to invest a minimum of Rs. 300 crores towards non-recurring expenditure, leave alone the recurring costs. On the other hand a news channel doesn’t need more than Rs.25 crores to establish. Keeping in view the entry level barriers, most of the media savvy investors are opting for the more glamorous and politically useful television than the print. The second consideration (analysts claim that it is the prime reason) being the respect they enjoy in the society, by virtue of owning a news channel, particularly in the political circles. The ‘respect’ may even be translated into ‘political favors’ too in times of need. This has even prompted politicians to spread their tentacles to grab cable TV. Vanita Kohli rightly describes this situation “ as a result of so much cash sloshing around unaccounted in the system, the cable industry has become a bit like what the film industry was earlier. The underworld is called in at times to sort out territorial disputes. According to some estimates currently about 60 percent of the cable system in India is owned by politicians or their relatives. This unaccounted money, say industry sources, has become a huge cash source for fighting local elections
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This note was uploaded on 07/21/2011 for the course BUS 10001 taught by Professor All during the Spring '11 term at Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology.

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38516519-Telugu-News-Channels - Changing Priorities of...

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