Thursday, December 6, 2007

Discriminated deccan

Most of the national English news channels' viewers are from southern states. At least that's what you can find out from the audience response to the polls and debates. But news channels which cover news for these states position themselves at Delhi or Mumbai, to cover their news. If I could recollect, the only time news channels covered remote places of TamilNadu in full extent, was when the devastating Tsunami struck the southern states.

Is the distance the main reason? Media covers news article on a case hearing in a supreme court or in a Delhi high court, rather than a thiruvananthapuram high court. This has turned the southies to turn to local language new channels for news on local issues. Just because your headquarters is in Delhi, you need not cover the local news of Delhi to the fullest extent. You have water logging problems, power shutdowns, political turmoil not only in Mumbai or Delhi alone, but in southern states too. The news channels cover the news of big B visiting a temple or SRK smoking or even promoting his new movie, but don’t give a damn about the news emanating from other cities.

What we are talking is not a rural-urban divide, but a disparity between north-south. Just because this is less acute than rural-urban, we cannot ignore these issues. Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore are becoming more cosmopolitan than they used to be. Despite the news channels allotting special slots and special segments for the southern state news, the coverage should well get beyond the metropolitan cities. There needs a delocalization of news channels if they want to call themselves a national news channel.

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