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'No ghosts on my news channel'

Journalist-cum-TV producer Anuradha Prasad has laid down some guidelines for her month-old news channel News 24.

tv Updated: Jan 20, 2008 15:29 IST
Arpana

The quality of content is her primary concern and journalist-cum-TV producer Anuradha Prasad has laid down some guidelines for her month-old news channel News 24. For one, no ghost stories!

"Content is my primary concern. The guidelines we have set are very clear. First, we won't start a media trial on hearsay. Any news that goes has to be authenticated," Prasad told IANS in an interview.

"Guideline number two is that no ghosts or dramatised versions of ghosts on the channel. I don't want any story saying a ghost was seen in so and so village," she added.<b1>

Prasad is former head of the Observer channel. She also made current event and social programmes for Doordarshan like From The Horse's Mouth and Lense Eye. After that she floated her own company called BAG Films and produced serials like Kumkum and Haqeeqat.

Asked to specify the focus of her new channel, she said: "For me a news item can be from infotainment, politics or business. As such there is no demarcation. Anything which has news value is okay with me."

She plans to launch an entertainment channel in February.

"The entertainment channel we are coming up with has more to do with glamour and lifestyle in Bollywood and television world. It is not a general Hindi entertainment channel. It won't have serials or soaps."

Currently there are more than 400 channels in India but Prasad feels the number is not going to impact the quality of content.

"Quality is definitely important. When you come to content there is a certain guideline that one has to maintain. India is a large country so if you have 400 channels, so what? You have so many languages, sub languages - and if you have 20 news channels, so what? If you divide it between languages and the regions, then it won't look too cluttered. Ultimately, TV has to reach people in their languages.

"India is growing in every sector. If television is growing, why are people making a hue and cry? They don't understand that because of the information boom a whole lot of India has also grown. It's a two-way process."

But she predicts there will be a consolidation of channels.

"Consolidation will happen. In any business, expansion happens first and then consolidation takes place. You can't say that this kind of consolidation won't happen in the television industry. It will certainly happen."

Prasad's new work profile won't stop her from making serials and films.

"We will continue to produce serials."

And she plans return to filmmaking after six months.

"We just did a Bengali film directed by Buddhadeb Dasgupta starring Sameera Reddy and Prasenjit, which went to practically every film festival and was the part of the panorama section at the International Film Festival Of India. I will start making films once I'm through with the channels," said Prasad, who produced Zindaggi Rocks with Sushmita Sen.