DD News: Surviving in times of Private News Channels

It may not be written anywhere, but because of being owned by the government, DD News apparently is the mouth-piece of the government. While private media may be criticising the government over an issue, for example corruption, DD News would chose not to comment at all on it.

News about the Lokpal Bill would be running on the ticker, but it will not have even slightest of an anti-government tone. Rather than showing public sentiments, it chose to show what the Prime Minister has said, or that he wants to hold a dialogue, and would go around it as the private news channel go around what Anna has said.

Certainly, expecting objectivity that could match BBC is out of question. However, it cannot be called completely biased either. It is neutral in its approach because it provides news as information, without any comments or opinions, a trait, private news channels have chosen to throw away.

Moreover, while the so called 24X7 news channels are in a race to win maximum TRPs, and are busy out-doing one another, DD News seems to be unaffected with the competition. Over, the years, where private news channels have turned every stone to please the audience, DD News appears to be least bothered about it if anyone is watching them. Needless to specify, the presentation of news is unattractive and boring on DD News.

Despite of all, one thing that is better about DD News when compared to other news channels is that it doesn’t delve on the euphoria or sensation created by a particular piece of news, be it India winning its second World cup or Anna Hazare’s fast.

If India is having a cricket series with England and alongside Anna Hazare is protesting, private news channel would be blurting out ‘breaking news, Anna on protest’, so & so. It would be impossible to find out the score, however, DD News would give both news pieces their deserving time slot, instead of lingering on just one. Thus, very often private news channel will overshadow the sports beat over political or other beats, which fortunately is not the case with DD News.

The actual scenario is that at DD News a story is not weighed according to how much TRP it would gather. On the contrary, at any other news channel, an update or story would come if it has the potential of raising TRPs, because money matters.

DD News fails to charm the 21st century viewers and to get them glued to it. Yet, those looking for diverse news stories would choose to watch it because other news channels don’t have such diversified content. Moreover, it covers international news in a far better way than private channels.

No doubt it lacks at news presentation. News on DD News is monotonous. Not many efforts are made to provide a fresh and interesting appearance to news, an area other news channels keep innovating at. But, if we take into account that it has to please a vast audience, which resides beyond the metropolitans, then it has the duty to stick to sombre presentation, which is widely accepted.

Shikha Nehra