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Competition to grab eyeballs leading to decline in news quality, says TV personality Naghma Sahar

Hyderabad: Renowned TV anchor Naghma Sahar said today that news rooms across the country have become more amenable to the viewpoints of the owners than ever before.

She was speaking at the opening session of a workshop on Media functioning organised for the students of Department of Journalism and Mass Communication at Maulana Azad National Urdu University on Electronic Media: Objectivity and Prejudices of TV News Anchors.

Sahar said, “There are more than 400 channels and all them are vying for the same viewership,” and added that revenue generation was adversely influencing news gathering.

“This is leading to a situation where journalists are becoming pliant without being asked to be so…The newsrooms have become echo-chambers where TV anchors shout down guests and do not allow participants to speak,” she ruefully added.

“We must understand that the demography of the viewership has also changed over the years. The television has largely democratized the TV viewership. Hence TV newsrooms are running after more eyeballs and TV anchors are resorting to gimmickry,” she said.

Taking questions from the audience she said that while the News Broadcasters Association was the apex body to oversee the electronic media, any governmental interference would be tantamount to censorship.

The programme was attended by Dr. Mohammad Aslam, Parvaiz, Vice Chancellor, and Prof Ehtesham Ahmad Khan, Dean, Faculty of Journalism and Mass Communication. (INN)

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