Prakash Hindustani-A Perfect Example of Localization with Global standards
"Future is Local News and Content"
Mr. Prakash Hindustani is working in Hindi journalism since last 30 years. He is a well-known name in journalism and is an all-rounder journalist who has worked in all types of media i.e. print, web and television. In print media he started with Hindi daily Naidunia. Thereafter he worked for a weekly magazine Dharmyug by Times of India Group and in another Hindi daily Navbharat Times by the same group. After serving 17 years at various positions in renowned media brands he joined Dainik Bhaskar as News Editor. He has also been the founder editor of Choutha Sansaar. He has a number of accomplishments being Bureau Chief of Indore at Sahara Samay for eight years and now he is brightening the stars of Digi Cable as the Central India News Head.
Here are the few words I had with him:
What was the motive of entering cable news industry after a satellite TV?
Global Quality and Local Content is our tag line. It is no doubt that there is a huge viewership of a satellite TV channel. It is also reachable to a number of people at the same time. But in India, the role of cable TV news is like that of Lord Hanumaan who did not know his powers for a long time. The strengths of a satellite TV are its weaknesses too. They cannot raise all the legal issues related to each area since it causes fear of declining TRP in other regions. They have to treat news of all places equally. They are forced to construct small packages of news and remove them from the list after one or two telecasts. We are not bound with any such limitations.
People do not take cable news seriously?
This is a myth. Cable news is paid great attention. We have a strong viewer base. Take example of CNN… it is also a Cable News Network. News is just news. We can watch them on the same screen where we see various national and international channels. Cable TV is free of TRP game and that is why we can present better quality of news in it. Whereas satellite news channels just present the clippings of major news or half an hour programs of 2-minute news. We cannot call them news. The rest are about ghosts, magic, miracles, or clipping of entertainment programs of other channels. Our news channel shows an in-house ad where we claim that we do not show such fantasies like miracles or spirits, the family dramas or so on. No satellite channel is untouched of such stuff.
Then what is the content of your local news?
Whatever we present cannot be shown by any other satellite channel. I strongly claim this. No doubt – Content is the King and Local Content is the Ruler. Today in India we have more than 15 Hindi news channels, various business and English news channels, and a stream of regional news channels. But we are where we are.
What experiments you have done in cable news?
Local Content is our USP and people watch us for the same. Who else can show visuals of universities, airport, railway station, schools, traffic etc. of our city other than us? Can radio show you latest pictures? Can it display Live news during a curfew in the city? In all the major places of major cities we have rooted cable lines in such a manner that we can carry a Live telecast anytime. We also telecast local cricket and tennis matches Live. Recently in Indore, a 65 year old Hindi daily was sold out. This was not a business activity but a heritage of the city hence we have prepared special programs on it for two consecutive days. We cater to the need of the city, we live in the heartbeats of the city, and we have no substitute.
Were there any experiments in programming too?
Yes, several experiments have been made. Global Quality & Local content is our formula for success. This has been applied in news as well as programs too. We have given opportunities to local talents and created scripts and programs on local temples and other regional places, picnic spots, social activities and so on. All these were the best presentations. If there would be any criteria of TRP here, we would definitely have leaded led that. We have also interviewed personalities from other parts of India who would be of interest to Indorites including people who were educated at Indore and then settled in other parts of the country. We breathe, live and sleep local.
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