Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Editorial

Mediocre performance of east Punjab TV news

August 06, 2018 06:41 PM

By Harjap Singh Aujla
East Punjab is passing through a very bad phase in Punjabi language news. Ever since TV news have been opened to private sector, the standard of news has gone worse in the country in general and Punjab in particular. Objectivity is a big casualty in Punjab. Even the spoken language is not standardized. Some Urdu vocabulary is pronounced incorrectly. Some American names are distorted too.

Some channels seem to be taking orders from certain influential personalities. Advertisement money is suspected to be going to favorite channels. A few years ago, there used to be several small scale cable operators in the state. Some bigger companies have gobbled up the entire cable distribution business in the state. One affected individual even committed suicide, when he was thrown out of business. Nothing happened after that.

Some new channels are becoming outrightly sensationalist, they pit one party against the other. People want truth from the TV channels. That truth is lost in the deafening noise of the loud voices of the debaters. Sometimes I start feeling that the government owned TV is better. They appear more civil. Government owned Doordarshan does not permit violent clashes on its news shows. I feel that Zee Punjab-Haryana-Himachal Pradesh channel is comparatively decent.

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One privately owned channel opened a few years ago in Chandigarh. They had good programs on defence, films, foreign policy and of course regional news. They professed neutrality in their news. This channel faced a lot of difficulties in getting into the cable system of Punjab. According to their sources, sometimes its sound was scrambled, at other times, their picture was scrambled. They went to the court, got some favorable responses, but still they could not get on to the cable system. Eventually after incurring big losses, they had to fold up.

This is the way it is on private sector Punjabi news channels in East Punjab.

harjapaujla@gmail.com

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