Ceasing TV ratings will put news channels in peril: NBF Prez Arnab Goswami to I&B
Writing on behalf of all members of News Broadcasters Federation (NBF), Arnab Goswami, President, NBF, has sought I&B Minister, Prakash Javadekar’s, intervention in the move by “some vested interest” to stop the publication of TV ratings measured by BARC India.
In a letter to the Minister, a copy of which has also been sent to relevant authorities at BARC, Goswami pointed out that these vested interests are doing so to protect their commercial interests. He added that they are also falsely claiming to represent the news broadcasting industry of India, which unlike them is doing real time public service broadcasting in this period.
He implored that news channels are completely and totally dependent on publication of TV ratings to run our business and urged that if news channels also face a situation when ratings are stopped, “we will be destroyed and our organisations will be at peril”.
We reproduce Arnab Goswami’s letter below:
Dear Mr Javadekar,
I am writing to you on behalf of all members of News Broadcasters Federation (NBF).
It has come to our notice that there are attempts made by some vested interest to put pressure via the ministry to stop the publication of ratings measured by BARC. I am informed that some of these vested interests, who are trying to stop ratings in this period, are doing so to protect their commercial interests, and falsely claiming to represent the news broadcasting industry of India, which unlike them is doing real time public service broadcasting in this period.
You are aware that the efforts of the news channels have been appreciated by one and all, including the Prime Minister in his recent video conference with owners and editors of some news channels. In order to continue the effort, which in this period involves creation of informative and relevant news content while covering the entire country at a time when communication and transport is not easy, our hundreds of thousands of professionals are working round the clock, and taking this battle on the frontlines to ensure that COVID-19 is defeated.
If news channels also face a situation when ratings are stopped, we will be destroyed and our organisations will be at peril. Mr Minister, while individual channels or bodies may claim to speak for us, let me assure you that they are only defending their short term interests at a time when they can shut down their programming while news channels work round the clock in this national effort against COVID-19.
We are completely and totally dependent on publication of TV ratings to run our business. We are doing committed public service broadcasting in this period of national emergency.
On behalf of all the members of the NBF I am requesting you for your urgent intervention to not allow this sinister move to stop the publication of TV ratings which is being done by vested interests alone. This if implemented will destroy the news broadcasting industry of India, which is doing an incredible job at this important time.
I am marking a copy of this to the relevant authorities at BARC for their information as well.
Once again, we request you to not allow any such decision or any such communication from MIB or anyone associated with your ministry to BARC, which is creating a sense of deep worry among news broadcasters and taking their attention away from the collective goal of defeating COVID-19, ensuring the lockdown is successful and we as a nation come through this together.