The revenue-driven model of TV channels treats news as a commodity to be packaged in a way that will improve viewership ratings. The viewer is a passive spectator of the shrill and boisterous sparring between panellists (April 1). At the end of the session, the confused viewer struggles to make sense of the story and to form a considered opinion. For better comprehension, viewers are often forced to read articles and debates in the print media for in-depth analysis and to draw objective conclusions. What the public want is not biased views of the so-called experts, but direct reports from a journalist on the ground, who has the advantage of first-hand experience. In short, the high decibel TV debates can entertain but cannot educate or enlighten, which is what news reporting is all about.

V.N. Mukundarajan,

Thiruvananthapuram

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