CNBC-TV18's Shereen Bhan says the biggest challenge of television and the current environment is that market is entering into a space which is extremely commoditised.
Shereen Bhan will now take over the responsibility of the day-to-day running of CNBC-TV18 as its new managing editor from September 1, 2013 after Udayan Mukherjee decided to step aside. Storyboard editor Anant Rangaswami caught up with Shereen Bhan, CNBC-TV18's new managing editor to understand the road ahead.
Also Read: Senthil Chengalvarayan appointed editor-in-chief for Network18 Business Newsroom
Below is the verbatim transcript of Shereen Bhan's interview on CNBC-TV18
Q: What are the new challenges with the change of role?
A: I do not think the challenge comes with the change of role. The challenge is about the medium and the environment that we are currently faced with. The biggest challenge that I currently see is that we are entering into a space which is extremely commoditised.
We have competition in this market and everybody is doing what CNBC-TV18 started off with. Since we were the market leaders, we have invented the wheel which is now copy-pasted by everybody.
In a commoditised market the degree of specialisation is going to be a key differentiator. So, how do you drive that through your content, how do you drive that on air, how do you drive that to your talent will be the big challenge and also a big opportunity for me to be able to try and do something different, deliver more on proprietary content, on original content. This is because the sound byte, press conference kind of journalism is not going to work any more as far as business news journalism on television is concerned.
Q: What are the changes and challenges you see for a category as a whole because it is evolving and it’s a category that needs reinvention in many ways, a business new television category?
A: It is a category that requires thought in terms of what you want to do, how much you want to focus on market generating content, how much you want to focus on news which is related to the market but not necessarily stock specific movement, how much you want to focus on corporate strategy.
The effort also needs to be humanising the news; for instance when you talk about reforms, we have spent our lives on business new channels talking about reforms but what does it actually mean to the person on the ground. We have tried to show that with various shows of ours and CNBC-TV18 launched the first political economy show called the 'Ministers of Change'.
We tried to depict the real picture and went through various state governments either in documentary format and showed viewers what these reforms whether its education or access to finance, what does it mean on the ground. So, it will also be about humanising business news which tends to be somewhat isolated from everything else. So, to connect those links better would also be something that business news journalism will need to evolve and learn to cope with.
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