Google fb32x32 twitter linkedin feed-icon-32x32

News Channels Vs Newspapers

News Channels Vs Newspapers

April 25, 2011

How news channels have lost their integrity, while newspapers still serve us correct news?

I remember as a small boy, I used to enjoy watching television. Doordarshan was all we had. Doordarshan was all we needed. I remember the quality of news in those days. A well dressed decent gentleman or lady used to read news. The lady's sweet melancholy voice. The gentleman's deep baritone voice. The flawless language. The news was righteous, just and correct. Events had to 'deserve' to make it to the 9 'o' clock news.

Then suddenly the 'K' onslaught started. These sensational Balaji daily soaps and serials in turn polluted journalism. Aaj tak, IBN7, Headlines Today, India TV, Star News, NDTV and many more dominated the television arena. I am sure no one is happy about the news these channels offer. In fact, one needs special skills to run all this.

I sometimes wonder, why the news channels can’t do what newspapers do. Enlighten people with news. Correct news. Righteous news. News which is not exaggerated. I really don't understand why news channels think that they are quite different from the newspapers?

News channels transmit news continuously, most of which is live. They can immediately grab a couple of people who know nothing of the issue to continue amusing the viewers. They can scream and make their presenters scream. Whereas newspapers have to wait until the next morning. They move slowly. They have to make somebody sit down, analyze the situation and then write a story for the morning edition. They can’t really scream.

In the Doordarshan days, television news indeed operated like newspapers. They used to broadcast verified news. In the sense of not reporting as it is unfolding but after it has completely unfolded. Today the process of unfolding is everything. News is no different form the live commentary of a cricket match. They call it breaking news. Indeed, today news is fragile. Weak.

The metrics for success or failure of the newspaper is its circulation, whilst TV channels depend completely on TRP ratings. There is one fundamental difference between the two. A newspaper is not evaluated in its parts. How many read a particular editorial, how many read a particular news item and for how long. Meanwhile a TV channel is rated in its half an hour slots. Unlike the newspaper, the TV channel can’t be sure of the viewer. A channel is continuously under pressure to retain a viewer. It has to run. Run continuously to even remain where it is!

Under these circumstances, can we expect media reforms where news channels will re-establish their dependability? Will we have at least one new channel which focuses in justly analyzing an event over breaking insignificant events? Will news channels be able to restore the trust and integrity of their establishment? Will the news channels be able to do what good newspapers still manage to do today? 


  • muheuddin
    12.12.12 01:01 PM
    Newspaper is also grater than news channal becouse we can use news paper any time any place &we can keep it siqure for a long time,many villageres use to news paper becouse there are no power for watch T V ,news paper provide us explanable news.
    elevision give us news in short term,and it for be only a cirten time . If I miss that time then we can't see it .we know that TV provide us pitctureble news but it be only short term..
    So newspaper is grater than TV channals....
  • sajeev kumar
    sajeev kumar
    28.04.11 10:13 AM
    Nowadays there is only breaking and sensational news all paid-media reporting! Newspapers are better anyday!
  • Ashish Agarwal
    Ashish Agarwal
    27.04.11 12:01 PM
    The news channels are becoming "less sane" thesedays. And all thanks to the 24x7 concept. Imagine we had only 2 or 3 2-hour slots in the day; all the non-sense news will vanish, because then there will be PRIORITY of the news thereby eliminating substandard news.
  • zephyr
    27.04.11 11:26 AM
    It is sad to say that the TV channels BELIEVE that it is their bounden duty to analyse and offer opinion however half-baked it may be. That's what makes them even more irritating in addition to the 'breaking news'.
  • Anirban
    27.04.11 02:40 AM
    While some of what you say is true, I believe there is also some unfair generalization mixed up in this. Yes, your strongest point is perhaps the fact that a newspaper is seen as a whole while a television news channel is evaluated in parts. But then again, a newspaper is meant to be consumed as a whole and a television channel is meant to be consumed in parts. However, I think TV as a medium is not meant for deep analysis. The power of television is getting the news out there now. How many people stayed glued to their TV sets when terrorists attacked Mumbai on 26/11? Would a newspaper have given people the same solace, or united the country the same way as television did, showing things as they happened? I don't think it is the responsibility of news channels to analyze. I think it's their responsibility to get me the news as its happening, and Indian TV news channels, for all their failings, do a commendable job of it.
  • Ram A
    Ram A
    26.04.11 09:10 PM
    News paper is best way to know the fact about any thing which is report on news channel. I never believed on news channel their pick of news subject is always with mala-fide intension with vested interest.
  • AussieDesi
    26.04.11 07:11 PM
    Agree with your comments re news channels needing a continuous stream to justify their existence. This is not, by the way, limited to India.

    However, I don't believe it therefore follows that newspapers are "better" - there are a number of flaws with mainstream media, partisanship, ownership bias etc that have caused a drop in readership.

    One reason the internet is popular as that it has the capacity to act as a check and balance on the mainstream media sources.

  • Rama Mohan A
    Rama Mohan A
    26.04.11 07:28 AM
    It is true. But it may in national level. In Andra Pradesh News papers also merged with political parties and publishing some sponsored news which will make readers fools.
  • akhil
    25.04.11 07:56 PM
    I have been following your blog for sometime now and its brilliant! So I am giving the versatile blogger award to you! Check it out at
    I am now waiting to read your random facts……
  • Madhav
    25.04.11 11:28 AM
    look when u r running a 24 hour channel,need to be right on toe all round the day.u ll hafta CREATE news if not there goes the NEWS! :)
    i ve stopped watching news.i prefer papers
  • Upasana Bhattacharjee
    Upasana Bhattacharjee
    25.04.11 09:34 AM
    I would prefer newspapers any day over the news channels. Some of the breaking news on the channels actually break my heart. I think too much of anything in excess is not good and that is what is causing the problem. They have to run 24*7 channels hence report every type of news they come across.

Leave a comment