Navika Kumar on the poll preparations at Times Now and Times Now Navbharat

Elections are around the corner in India. Television news channels are all geared up to capture the frenzy of the poll-bound country. Despite the challenges and restrictions caused by the pandemic, Times Now and Times Now Navbharat have lined up a detailed plan to offer viewers the most extensive coverage of the elections. From implementing the latest technology that allows LIVE news production work to happen from remote locations, to deploying a data analytics company for on-the-ground data collection, the broadcaster is all geared for the D-Day. In an interview with, Navika Kumar, Group Editor, Times Network and Editor-in-chief, Times Now Navbharat, dwells at length on the preparedness and the line-up of poll-related programmes. Excerpts:  

What preparations are you taking for covering the upcoming state elections?

Just as the world faces yet another wave of Covid, Times Now and Times Now Navbharat have a very savvy plan to offer viewers the most extensive coverage of the elections. Our reporters are tracking every important development virtually in election-bound states so that we can bring authentic news in the shortest possible time to our viewers. We have implemented the latest technology that allows LIVE news production work to happen from remote locations. We also have data analytics company Veto onboard, which is doing data collection on the ground and tracks voter sentiment on a daily basis through field-to-field surveys and call centre surveys. Presenting how the elections will likely shape, this tracker will be a significant indicator of which way the electorate may swing.

What will be the extra precautions and arrangements in view of the restrictions due to the pandemic?

Health and safety of our team is our utmost priority. In addition to providing all required safety equipment and ensuing COVID-appropriate behaviour, we have minimised our reporters’ interaction on the field. We believe that news is not a work of what is seen on the screen alone, it is a lot of work behind the camera. We will ensure that we capture the pulse of the voter sentiment along with all critical updates to bring a seamless election news broadcast to our viewers

What are the upcoming programmes related to the polls?

On TIMES NOW, we are bringing an unmatched programming line-up for the upcoming assembly elections under Mandate 2022. India's election news headquarters, TIMES NOW, will once again be at the forefront with its engaging properties that will offer viewers the most extensive coverage of the elections. Keeping viewers updated on the most recent developments, every day at 7.30 pm we are doing a round-up on election-bound states. Our prime-time shows like India Upfront at 8 pm, Newshour @ 9 pm are focused on hosting discussions related to the elections, with representatives cutting across ideological spectrum.

On Times Now Navbharat, we have an extensive everyday programming line-up that reflects the pulse of the people in the Hindi heartland states. We have a daily segment called, Netaji Viral Hain, where we showcase and discuss statements made by politicians, which are crucial to defining their agenda for the elections. At 4.30 pm we bring ‘Kiska Kaam Bolta hai’, an on-ground report that brings forth the real face of development in the election states, and if people of the state are seeing that as a reason for voting a particular political party. ‘Vote ka Dharam Chakra’ at 6.30 pm brings an on-ground dipstick of what religion means to voters and how much of a factor is this in the upcoming elections. The VoteMeter is our Tracker that comes every Friday where we have qualitative questions as well as answers to the voter data in our survey. Sawaal Public Ka is our 8 pm Prime Time Show which picks up the central debate of the day in election-bound states and at 10 pm we have Opinion India Ka, which also has election-centric segments



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