There is a huge transformation between the Arnab of Times Now and the Arnab of Republic TV. Prior to the launch of Republic TV, Arnab mentioned that he’s building a world class news & media channel that will be an answer to the likes of BBC, etc. Admit it or not, now when I look at his journalism, I somewhere start feeling that Journalism is dying. There is an element of personal animosity here. Goswami was never been accepted by “those-who-matter”. He has turned this feeling of rejection into a national agenda. His misplaced nationalism can verge on the comical. Once he got after a Caucasian doctor because a super-bug had been named New Delhi. Goswami argued with irate logic, and was racist. The doctor explained that it was medical precedent to name a bug after the place where it originated — that there was no agenda. Goswami kept shouting at him until the man got up and left. At these moments, one feels that there is a genuine loss of control that Goswami is susceptible to while on air. He is tricked by his own act, over and over again.
The first look at Goswami’s channel, Republic TV, reminded me of RussiaToday, the Kremlin-backed state propaganda channel that pretends not to be one. In fact, it’s worse. Republic TV doesn’t have Russian flags waving in every frame. The ads on Republic did. One begins to wonder about the ethics of using the national flag to push what is ultimately a big business venture, streaming live on Hotstar to millions of subscribers. This is about money and profits, not the nation. Republic harnesses a national symbol, which belongs to everyone, and yokes it to its personal end of profitability. In the commercials for Republic, the viewer is talked down to. There’s nothing about how the news delivery will be different, only a set of exhortations to the citizens.
Arnab Goswami has intellectual diarrhea; he has a huge stock of knowledge restricted by Propaganda. By the way he is running a business, so making profit is the primary motive. Sadly, we Indians love to hate, hate Pakistanis, hate liberals and hate anyone who raises voices of opposition.
Republic TV is one channel that was launched with a great buzz to propagate this hate. It is owned by Rajeev Chandrashekhar who is a BJP MP. For Rajeev Chandrashekar and Arnab, the BJP and its agenda are priority, attacking all those entities who disagree to their agendas and attacking opposition is the main motive of the channel. They never discuss national issues like inflation, unemployment, rape, murders, school fees hike or the burning issues of ground reality. It is much famous for debates where nothing seems to be rational and comprehensive. It is currently the top news channel in India but needs to offer better content. It is a totally biased channel which hides the lacunas of the ruling Government.
There are many such channels like Zee News, ABP News, Aaj tak that aids the Modi Government. But when TRP got exposed all those media houses directly attacked Arnab. Most of the English news channel viewers have the privilege of internet & other social media at their fingertips, to access the content around the world. So, I would like to see news channels bringing out different stories that are not just about political scams, tapes as sensational stories.
During his stint in Times Now, Arnab had risen to become one of the most powerful opinion-makers in the country. His power came from the extremely successful image he had managed to create among his audience – a fearless, patriotic journalist of unshakable moral convictions. A journalist who rose above the fray of party politics and was ready to take on anyone. The urban Indian middle class – his audience- loved him as their vigilante hero. First, there is the noticeable change in his persona. I don’t know if this is closer to his true personality or he thought even more loudness would sell more, but he now appears far more over-the-top than before.
Secondly, in Times Now he took (or was made to take) pains to appear to be above party politics. But after launching a channel largely owned by a BJP MP and refusing to address the issue, he has all but declared his support to BJP. Even many of those sympathetic to the party don’t like an entirely one-sided journalist. Republic reporters promoting bully journalism by, it must be Arnab who has been promoting this toxic brand of bully journalism. All of this is chipping away at the image of an honest Arnab had built so successfully in Times Now, at least for those who pay attention. His real face is emerging. It is that of a dishonest, unethical person who puts on a show for his audience and promotes a culture of bullying. He is everything an anchor is not supposed to be – he comes with his own notion of which speaker is going to be the favored speaker of the day. He started new trends in journalism that are dangerous. Well we know, for every channel, TRP is a compulsion as it determines the rate of advertisements. The higher the rating of the channel, the more advertisements it gets. This is why some channels have tried to manipulate this system. When the TRP system started, it did not intend to measure the popularity of a channel among viewers but was established for advertisers. To gain TRP and remain number one in the race, he did a TRP scam.
BARC installed “BAR-O-meters” in over 45,000 empaneled households. These households were classified into 12 categories under the New Consumer Classification System (NCCS), the so-called “new SEC” adopted by BARC in 2015, based on the education level of the main wage earner and the ownership of consumer durables from a list of 11 items ranging from an electricity connection to a car.
While watching a show, members of the household register their presence by pressing their viewer ID button — every person in the household has a separate ID — thus capturing the duration for which the channel was watched and by whom, and providing data on viewership habits across age and socio-economic groups. The panel chosen to capture TRPs must be representative of the country’s population, and the methodology must be economically viable for the industry.