The Nation does want to know Mr.Arnab
Arnab Goswami, India’s leading journalist and TV news anchor was ousted from his former show- ‘The Newshour’ in November last year by the Times Network. He is now back with a vengeance to launch his independent news TV channel — RepublicTV which will be operational within a month and he plans to make RepublicTV “India’s dot on the world map of Global Media.”
I watched his speech at the FICCI conference where he presented his views on the changing face of news. Let me highlight some of the points he made-
- Plain vanilla is boring — Plain vanilla has no place. Opinion is the future. I cannot sit in a studio and tell you what happened. You know what happened. You can see it on your phones. Plain vanilla journalism is overdone, overused and boring. Opinion is the future of journalism. It is opinionated media that has the potential to be activist, that is a change agent to merely being a supplier of information.
- The existing media is compromised- When young Mr Srinivas Kuchibotla was shot dead in Kansas by an attacker who shouted “Get out of my country”, the compromised media was content with labeling it as ‘hate crime’. There was no condemnation from the White House until a week later. The Indian media however was satisfied with covering other flashy issues.
- Shift in the language of consumption- The focus is on English, English done the Indian way. The penetration of English in India is growing rapidly and will continue to grow.
- Independent Media is the way forward- Technology will be the single biggest democratic enabler of the 21st century. Independent content publishers will script the journey and prove a point that Independent media is not answerable to anyone or anything.
I completely agree to the points that he’s made. Indian media doesn’t ask hard questions or present strong opinions but is satisfied playing make-believe debates that look more like reality shows. I for one, am enraged by their lax attitude and their compromised reporting.
Every news show/ news article has one view in mind- eyeballs. More eyeballs. And what gets most eyeballs. Stupid click-bait(Click here to know more and be shocked!).
However, the biggest question I have in my mind is — Will RepublicTV really be different? Will it be different than all the other media houses that came before. Will it not sell itself to the lowest bidder who signs the cheques?
Is RepublicTV really independent media?
Independent media refers to any form of media, such as radio, television, newspapers or the Internet, that is free of influence by government or corporate interests.
RepublicTV is not truly independent media. One of the largest investors and a director in Republic has been a BJP Rajya Sabha member from Karnataka since 2006. With a political investor who has the largest stake in the firm, I doubt the channel will be able to function without any form of political interference.
RepublicTV will also most likely be dependent on corporate advertising as its primary source of revenue. Corporate influence is one of the biggest reason for compromised news, be it the Augusta-Westland case where the media ran positive stories about the deal in exchange for money, the Radia Tapes controversy where media houses were involved in the 2G corruption scam.
It could also be something as trivial as Dilwale getting a Must Watch rating, or unethically sneaking some advertisement making it impossible for you to distinguish if it’s paid content or an actual article. Once, the journalistic integrity of a news channel has been compromised for money, I wouldn’t count it as independent media anymore.
Can RepublicTV truly stand out from the crowd without resorting to these forms of advertising? If Mr. Arnab does really succeed in creating an Independent Media channel, I am confident that his passion and the zeal of this man will make Republic a global news powerhouse.