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News channel creates new ‘Live’ debates using recorded bytes of regular panelists

16, Aug 2013 By Mishtik Journo

New Delhi. In the prime-time debate on the TV news channel program The 9 PM Hullabaloo, only the moderator participates live while old recorded bytes of panelists are inserted during the telecast to make it appear as a live TV studio debate, Faking News has found out.

The news channel decided to adopt this strategy after they found out that their guests – political leaders and political experts – were repeating the same stuff even if the debate topic was different.

Faking News observed that whether it was the issue of Robert Vadra or the issue of price of onions or kickbacks in a helicopter deal, BJP’s Prakash Javdekar was shown to be saying, “The government has to take responsibility and act. This has been debated many times.” and further “This is a serious issue. We do not trust the government, they are a party to it. Why has no charge-sheet been filed till now?”

Panelists photographed before a 9 PM TV debate

“Hold on, I do  not know whether this is true or false. Let me clarify that during the NDA tenure also such things happened,” some Jha from Congress would rebut Javdekar.

“One minute, one minute, I did not interrupt when you were speaking, now allow me to complete,” Meenakshi Lekhi would interrupt the Congress spokesperson’s interjection and continue, “This is not NDA vs UPA. The issue here is that the public money is being wasted.”

“NDA will break up this country,” Manishankar Aiyar would say with a typical 28o violent jerk of his head showing deep disgust, after which the news anchor would proceed to “experts”.

Yogender Yadav has a stock line to repeat in every program, “There are 162 tainted politicians in Parliament and 725 MLAs in the assemblies who have serious charges against them, such things are bound to happen.”

While the comments by the panelists remain the same, the moderator would interject with a degree of sensationalism on each subject, which gave the viewers the impression that the debate was all new and “Live”.

When contacted, the news channel admitted employing this strategy during the prime-time.

It was Priyam Dubey, one of the MBA summer interns, who during his project titled “Cutting corners for higher profitability in a media house” noticed that all the panelists repeated the same comments in the show on a daily basis whatever be the subject.

“Why, then, should we call them repeatedly daily, and give them money?” he had questioned in his report.

“We shall continue with this practice as no viewer has noticed the difference or protested on this matter,” said the production in-charge, Anil Maheshwari, “We shall now renew the bytes on a monthly basis just to show these people in fresh costumes as per the season. Our cost of production will be reduced by almost 30%.”

“Some months back, when flash floods hit Ring Road, in order to be the first to cover the event, we showed old video recordings of Ganga overflowing near Haridwar as a coverage of Yamuna in Delhi,” confided Maheshwari to Faking News claiming that the latest step by the channel was not first of its kind, “We became the first channel to break the news with visuals and saved money as well.”

“Water and floods are same in Yamuna and Ganga. How does it matter?” Maheshwari explained the rationale behind the moves.