Sitting in his drawing room, Syed Kashif, a resident of Kazipura, watches 4TV Khabarnama, a news bulletin in Urdu that covers events in Old City.

He prefers the bulletin to other regional news channels, thanks to its local content and, more importantly, the medium.

“I make it a point to watch it to get information about local developments, particularly around Old City.

Local issues

Regional channels do not give adequate space to local issues and Old City-related events,” says Mr. Kashif.

Of late, several channels have come up in Old City, and they are getting encouraging response.

These channels score big on prompt coverage of local developments. As a result, viewers prefer them to entertainment channels.

Exclusive teams

But how do they gather news? Many of the Old City-based channels have their own bureaus covering beats in every nook and cranny of the city.

“We have a team that covers every Assembly Constituency, and it reports all developments to the office,” says Jaffer Balala, Managing Director, 4TV.

This apart, a few channels have tie-ups with local videographers, who cover private functions, and freelancers, who work for more than one channel or subscribe to news agencies for video versions of programmes or incidents.

Mohd. Akhtar, a Senior Reporter with Ruby channel, says more than freelancers and reporters, it is the viewers who help news bureaus to gather information about sudden developments.

Sensitive matters

Most channels make it a point to cover every issue that has a bearing on the public.

Such is the height of popularity that people first call up news channels before approaching police whenever something happens.

There were a few instances when people informed about the illegal sale of ID liquor and prostitution dens in Old City to the news channels before alerting police.

“Residents inform us first expecting prompt action,” admits a video journalist.