One of the most viewed news segments of India has been ‘The Newshour Debate’ on Times New, hosted by Arnab Goswami, also the former Editor- in- Chief of the channel ‘Times Now’. However, he resigned, on 18th November 2016, from the post and announced the production of his own news channel to the audience called Republic, now known as Republic Tv.
Arnab’s debates on ‘The Newshour’ were almost captivating to watch. Questions which needed to be asked were fired at the panel, unlike a few other news channels which covered unworthy stories. His outstanding communication skills and enigmatic screen presence were intriguing to watch.
Since the announcement of his own news channel, the Indian audience has been waiting eagerly for the official launch.
A fresh message from Arnab was posted on Republic’s official Facebook page, which said “Dear viewers, you’ve supported me over the years & Republic is the result of your faith. I am happy to tell you that Republic TV is a FREE TO AIR channel. From Kashmir to Kanyakumari and North East to Gujarat, Republic TV is FTA (FREE TO AIR). My young, passionate, idealistic & committed news team needs your support. This committed news team is putting out a FREE TO AIR channel for you. Back them, contact your cable/DTH provider now.”
This move can mean a tough competition for other news channels. Not only is it predicted that Arnab will bring quality news but because Republic will be free to air, viewers percentage can shift from other channels to Republic. As per reports, Times Now is still the most watched English news channel, followed by NDTV and then by India Today. Times Now, according to BARC’s latest data, received 5,52,000 impressions on week 16 of 2017, and at the time when last The Newshour Debate was aired- the channel had a count of 10,80,000 impressions.
Even before the channel has been launched, news competitors have already started to battle it out with Republic. Anjana Om Kashyap, who used to anchor with Aaj Tak, will now be anchoring the India Today’s prime time slot. There has been a billboard seen at Noida’s Film City, with Arnab’s poster reading ‘Arnab with you soon’ and Anjana’s poster which reads ‘Anjana reached and waiting’.
The Indian audience is well versed of the quality of news by many channels that are shown on the television. Instead of bringing in the real happenings, such stories are misguiding and are portrayed in a very ‘masala’ laden way with a clear attempt to capture the audience for entertainment purposes.
There are high hopes from Arnab. True journalism is what is needed in the country. Hopefully, Republic will be true to its campaign ignition “On the brink of shaking up the system all over again.”