Shri Ajeet Singh
(We present an article ‘World Television Day’ on the eve of World Television Day – 21st November written by Shri Ajeet Singh ji, Director (News), Doordarshan. We are extremely thankful to Shri Ajeet Singh ji for this informative and well researched article based on his experience.)
☆ World Television Day ☆ Shri Ajeet Singh☆
This day let’s ponder over the impact television now has on our personal, familial, social and political life.
Not going into the well known history of this audio visual medium, suffice to say that it has gradually changed our lives in a big way. It cut down our time for Radio, cinema and print media significantly.
TV started making real impact in America and European countries in fifties of the last century. The first Presidential debates in 1960 between John Kennedy and Richard Nixon marked the moment that the television had arrived.
In India the impact came in early eighties through 9th Asian Games, introduction of colour TV, and then the serial saga through Hum Log, Ramayan and Mahabharat. By mid-nineties came the private television and the Doordarshan started losing the race both in entertainment segment of serials and the news segment. It soon became a mad race even among the private networks, each trying to beat the other through sensational contents and even by rigging the TRPs for a bigger pie in the advertisement revenue.
The cut throat race continues.
My personal feeling is that television has in this process made us passive consumers of its contents. It has even polarised the community on communal and political lines.
There was a time when films united the country. Those made Hindi as the most spoken and understood language. In its early days, Television too performed that role through its films and film-based programmes and live sports especially cricket.
In the last decade or so, television news seems to have become more popular than serials. Of 800 odd television channels in India, about half cater to news. Prime time is a big circus on most of the news channels.
We remain passive consumers.
Will television continue to play overwhelming or even dominant role in entertaining the masses and as educator and information provider?
I don’t think so. In last about five years or so,
A new technology has brought on the scene a new mass media called social media. It has already started impacting the television. Now I devote equal, if not more, time to social media than the television. The smartphone technology has made television as just one of its many adjuncts. There is also smart television and OTT content, all available on smartphones. Television gave us what a channel thought the best for us. Of course, we could change channels but we could not always have the contents we specifically wanted. Google on smartphones has widened the area of our choice astronomically.
Social media has made every citizen a reporter. He won’t stand sermonising of different hues any more. He has a take on anything and everything. That makes social media a better two-way communication medium. Its reach and audience are huge. Facebook has 180 crore subscribers. If people only make a country, then Facebook is the biggest country of the world.
Social media gives rise to communities and identities of big and small sizes that television and other mass media sought to rollover.
This way social media makes us active and discreet consumers of contents. This is a major point social media scores over television.
These are my stray thoughts on this World Television Day.
We have a galaxy of television watchers in our group.
Will they enlighten us ? Waiting to hear.
© Shri Ajeet Singh
Ex Director (News) Doordarshan
Mo. – 9466647037
≈ Blog Editor – Shri Hemant Bawankar/Editor (English) – Captain Pravin Raghuvanshi, NM ≈