Compellingly watchable and listenable

While attention grabbing content is the backbone of a TV show or a movie, the presentation and the presenter(s) are of equal significance, as none of us would invest our time to watch a dispirited-looking presenter or a monotonous show that lacks innovativeness and uniqueness in the way it’s being presented. But movies and TV shows no more a daily luxury for me, given the pace at which I work each day. However, I always cherry-pick a few TV programs and make sure to watch them whenever possible. With that said, I must also admit that my checklist is devoid of any soap operas, as I strongly believe in investing time wisely, no matter whether it’s a second or an hour.

News channels and science fiction programs dominated my list of favorite TV shows until I started watching CNBC-TV18. Though this might sound like yet another cliché, I have to say that CNBC-TV18 is truly a business channel with a difference, as I have never seen them broadcasting tailored shows that are solely focused on intricate businesses and markets stories. Instead of serving an elite set of viewers who can decipher the hard to comprehend nuances of finance and markets, they have diverse sets of programs that are both entertaining and informative. Watching CNBC-TV 18 also helped me debunk yet another myth that I’ve had been carrying with me ever since my college days, when I was a devoted and curious student of Journalism. I had always believed that strong abrasiveness is a ‘must-have’ for a journalist of reputable stature. The quintessential visual media journalists whom I revered so far were always found yelling their hearts out on camera, several times, during most of the shows, for an array of reasons. But Shereen Bhan of CNBC-TV18 repeatedly gave me the strong and judicious message that a professional journalist needn’t be abrasive all the time to validate a point or a perspective.

The caustic and irksome on-screen narrators whom I hate to listen to:

From the bygone days of one news channel and a handful of shows, our visual media has grown by leaps and bounds, with the arrival of numerous channels that broadcast endless number of news programs and other related shows, right from dawn to dusk. News stories, political or non-political, always invoke a sense of unplumbed curiosity in me, the reason why I always make it a point to watch one of the news broadcasts telecasted each day. However, news programs are no more the meticulous coverage of top news stories of the day. Nowadays, they do not follow the sequential news broadcasting pattern, one after the other depending on their gravity and depth.

These days, news rooms are less about broadcasting day-to-day happenings and more about abrasive and ludicrous panel discussions that are monopolized by several groups of self-professed intellectuals who carry tremendously inflated misconceptions on their knowledge of the current world and its happenings. The intense interactions, dry wits, distasteful comments, and outlandish altercations take no time to become fiery arguments, violent war of words, and name calling, for several unworthy and unimportant reasons that we can count on. Both the invited guests and the anchors brazenly shout their heads off during the entire sessions, in front of the cameras, and leave no stones unturned to desperately prove themselves right and others wrong, often forgetting the very reason why they entered into the discussion. Thus most of the discussions on political, social, and economic reasons soon pave way for irrational outbursts and unstoppable overflow of intense narcissisms that are intolerable to the core.

A breath of fresh air:

After watching Shereen Bhan for a year, on various shows, I have come to the realization that abrasiveness doesn’t augment one’s journalistic expertise, but only intensifies and exhibits the vulnerability of a media person, who has to be technically unbiased and unaffected, even amid the most crucial situations. While many of you might contradict me with a strong argument that CNBC-TV 18 is a business channel that faces the least of tensed debates on political and social issues, I beg to differ, as I have seen her being a part of several discussions that cover such topics as well. I have also had several chances to see her facing the not-so-evident fury of several political functionaries, who have repeatedly taken digs at Shereen Bhan very openly on various programs, for some of her clear-cut questions that they would not want to answer to. Yet, she maintains her commendably calm and composed nature throughout the shows and keeps surprising me frequently. Doesn’t she get angry on being mocked frequently? I don’t know! I have continuously tried to imagine myself in her place, and have constantly thought of my possible reaction on taking such potshots. Let me tell you in no uncertain words – My emotions would have overpowered my practicality, and I would have become downright annoyed several times.

A refreshingly positive face makes every news show and every program worth watching and listening to. It makes you want to listen to the anchor and decipher what’s being talked about. On the other hand, having an abrasive and non-smiling face on the TV is a huge dissatisfaction, and I would hardly bother to listen or watch what’s being aired, no matter how crucial the news program or the show is.


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