The vast number of TV channels in English, Hindi and vernacular languages has brought a wide variety of programs into our drawing rooms. Today the viewer has a choice of watching his/her favourite programmes. There was a time till a few years ago when there was only one channel available for watching and that too was government controlled. Viewers had to use their discretion regarding how much of the news and allied political features should be believed. People wanted a choice and these became available with the permission to private channels to broadcast even news based programmes.

These were welcomed by the viewers and there was more faith in the private news channels than government owned channels. The news content and the live coverage made the based programmes news more attractive to watch. Gradually a faithful clientele started building up for the various private national channels. In fact, a few news channels have now become truly national in the Hindi and English languages. These are widely watched especially in the evenings every day.

However a new tribe of TV news  personalities have come to the fore. They are known as TV anchors. They present the news only if it is very important. Otherwise they are anchoring the debates on the national channels during the prime time which is usually from 8 PM  to 11 PM. A good number of viewers are hooked to watching their favourite TV anchor moderating the intense debates on a few topics of the day. They try to make it as interesting and as controversial as possible because it also affects the TRP of these channels which in turn affects the advertisement revenue of the channels.

These days many of the anchors have become more popular than their channels. People refer to what the anchors said instead of what the channel said . Some of the anchors have attained tremendous following and credibility. It is also evident from the fact that many of the politicians and others allegedly involved in moral turpitude issues keep avoiding them or are uncomfortable in answering their questions. This further raises the credibility of the anchors.

A common characteristic of almost all the anchors is their loudness. Another is their aggressive style of questioning. Also they do not allow the respondent to finish their answers before being cut into by the anchor. Many a participant has to plead to be allowed to complete his/her answer. Another frequent grouse against the anchors is that they conduct the debates with a preset agenda and resist any attempts to deviate from it. In fact they seem to be interested in furthering it. Most of the anchors are in the habit of asking long winded questions which many times sound like sermons and admonishments.

In fact these days they are being accused of conducting what is alleged as media trials and passing judgements even before the judiciary has a chance to do so after a proper trial. In these days of 24X7 telecasting these anchors can truly make or break the reputation of a allegedly involved person. Such is their credibility that a majority of the viewers accept their conclusions. Viewers may not agree with their tendencies to dominate in debates by the anchors but they support their stands on the scams which are now taking place at a regular rate.

Iy is also observed that many a time the number of participants is too large for a 30 to 45 minute debate. With the result a few dominate and a few do not get adequate time to participate. Also the anchors under time pressure tend to cut in as soon the participants has started speaking their  views. This results in the quality of the debate going down. Also it is usually the same set of participants who appear on the debates regularly thereby creating a sense of staleness for the viewer. It is also interesting to watch many a participant hop from studio to studio with his same views.

Many an anchor has now started beating his trumpet as to claiming that he was the first to expose a scam or bring pictures or interview someone and so on. It is also being done by them to market their channel to get more viewers. They are trying to increase the debate topics every evening and are also extending the programme time. The war between the channels or between the anchors is truly now hotting up.

One has to give credit to these anchors for raising issues which earlier on would have either not been raised or forgotten very fast. It suited the law breakers. But with constant exposure on TV and relentless follow up by these dedicated anchors, issues they take up, do not die easily and they remain in the minds of the viewers. Almost all the law breakers and corrupt politicians and others who have been exposed and mercilessly pursued by these anchors have had to make way one way or the or the from clinging on to positions of power. This is the single most important contribution by these new and effective class of anchors. The shady scamsters and corrupt are rightly getting exposed and many a wrongly affected person has also got justice and compensation. 

The fourth pillar of democracy the media is now truly discharging its duty and helping it do so are these popular anchors who have now not only made a name for themselves and are seen as being of high credibility but are eagerly welcomed by increasing viewers every evening into their houses.

The anchors deserve both our thanks and praise. They are actually in a virtual way acting on our behalf by exposing and berating the wrongdoers while  holding positions of trust. Nine o'clock every evening is the time to come in front of the TV and watch the various anchors act on our behalf.                                                          


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Comments (1)

  1. Manoj lamba

In some programs the number of participants are too large that the debate looks wasteful and all participants speak together.

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