Das ka Dum with Dr Bhaskar Das: Does quality work in TV News? Given that Sudhir Chaudhary gets more ratings than Ravish Kumar….

13 Nov,2019

What happens when you ask a question as pointed as the one asked here to Dr Bhaskar Das as part of the Q&A series in Das ka Dum. Will the answer be simple or complex? Read on and figure for yourself!

 

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Q) Over the years, we’ve seen various quality news media products not gaining traction. Even today, the Magsaysay Award-winner Ravish Kumar’s show gets pathetic viewership in comparison to, say, Sudhir Chaudhary’s DNA on Zee News.  So the message that goes out is that quality doesn’t work in news? What’s your view? Should one hence pursue quality? Or look at ways to attract/leapfrog consumption?

 

A) I was wondering if quality and consumption stickiness are at the both ends of the spectrum, if one goes by the drift in the question. I understand the reason for that observation as it must have been based on some empirical evidence, however statistically insignificant the sample size may be. I strongly believe that there is economics in quality. Pursuit of surplus (not obsession about super profit at the cost of societal good) has no pejorative connotation. It is important for sustainability of an enterprise and for effective utilisation of resources. Only when the same pursuit gets unbridled and short-term interests get the better of long-term ones, then such doubts arise. It’s a fact that consumer interests evolve over time due to technology and change in societal value system and its consequent impact on consumption pattern. More often than not, it results in collateral damages in terms of a brand’s and/or category’s economics. In that breaking point, temptation arises to succumb to the easier route of pandering to the lowest common denominator in the interest of short-term goals. While I can’t comment on an individual brand’s compulsions, yet I shall have an unflinching loyalty to my belief that quality need not be sacrificed at the altar of easy route to gain stickiness.

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