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Why Oh Why Oh Why?


Indian Television                  
Much hullabaloo has been made about the Indian entertainment industry being in overdrive. It is expected to steamroll ahead smashing all forecasts and creating new benchmarks. Indian Television in particular seems to be driving this juggernaut with new channels coming up almost on a whim.

The line between “general entertainment” and everything else is getting blurred by the minute. News channels are looking like prime time soaps and the reality shows on prime time have become our breaking news!

We are fast headed towards the “500 channels and nothing to watch scenario” primarily because the quality of content is mostly pathetic. Save a few shows on a few channels we the viewers are dished out the same recycled rubbish. Formats are being imported lock stock and barrel or worse the homegrown stuff blatantly copies foreign shows. How many desi (Indian) versions of the Tonight Show have we already seen? How many Hardtalk rip offs will we have to suffer? When will they make good Indian Auto shows and not cheap imitations of Top Gear? When will News reporters in the field not behave like the world is coming to an end every time they get on air for 2 minutes?

In this age of information overload creating mediocre content is a sin. Why do we put up with this nonsense? The simple answer to this complex issue is – Multi-channel television in India is really only over a decade old. To put things in perspective we got our first color TV’s only in 1981. From one or two Government run channels then we have now got close to 200 channels and counting. The growth has been amazing but sadly at the expense of quality of content.

The time has come for our media professionals be it TV, radio or print to take stock and chart a future course out of these murky waters. We must understand that questions of the future have their answers in our past. Why can’t we come up with exciting game shows that we create from the ground up? Why do all our News Channels have to look the same and more importantly sound the same. Why can’t we find our own identity? When will our radio jockey’s realize that most Indian radio shows are mostly noise?

The key to all our woes today lies in good presentation. Be it the News Presenters make-up, presentation skills or a channel’s Station ID. More thought must go in to what is broadcast. Original quality content should be the mantra that all in the industry should live by. A few channels have been striving towards this goal but most, sadly seem clueless. India they say has become a world leader in “Soft-Power”. Then why can’t we make better original content for TV and radio really begs me to ask - Why Oh Why Oh Why?

Comments:

Can not agree with you more. But then, content is about thinking, and thinking out of the box. Always and constantly. Sure the Grey cells do run out or get worn out. Which is what seems to have happened, collectively for the media and say why think when there is google search and select, copy cut and paste technology readily available. Pity is that it is the younger elements doing more of it than what is generally considered the group of silly old lazy bums of yesteryears (if you can ever find any of these fastly getting distinct species in newsrooms but found aplenty in the press club after 7 p.m.)

Lakshman

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