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Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019

Gulf NRIs unhappy with Indian channels

Viewers in Gulf say none of the Indian news channels cover news about the NRIs.

india Updated:


None of the Indian satellite TV news channels covers news about non-resident Indians (NRIs) or their problems and achievements, a survey said.

The survey, conducted by Dr Prem Lal Joshi of University of Bahrain, was targeted at NRIs in the Gulf region.

Many respondents were upset that even after paying subscription fees between Rs 20,000 to Rs 35,000 annually, the Indian channels did not pay much attention to NRIs.

There were suggestions by some that the Indian government start an exclusive channel for NRIs and people of Indian origin who number between 20 to 25 million and are spread across the world. The Gulf region alone is home to four million NRIs.

Approximately 75.7 per cent of the respondents were in favour of modifying existing laws to regulate Indian TV news channels in the country.

The survey also found that the NRIs want more news focused on women's issues and youth.

Many respondents suggested that a portion of airtime should be dedicated to awareness in the areas of education, health, hygiene, environment, communal harmony, national pride etc.

Graphic images of violence, killings and news related to communal trouble should be presented in a more mature manner.

Bollywood related programmws should be cut to the minimum because they do not offer any career development values and the news channels should avoid sensationalism at all costs, the survey said.

An overwhelming number of NRIs said the so-called reality shows peeping into the private lives of individuals (even ordinary folks) were nothing short of being scandalous. It was not good journalism and should be discouraged, if not banned.

The most popular channel for NRIs in the Gulf was NDTV followed by Star News and Zee TV, the survey said.

The NRIs in the Gulf region have played a key role in the economic transformation of the region and also in India. They send about $6 billion annually to India by way of remittances.

About 45.9 percent of the NRIs live in Saudi Arabia followed by UAE with 27.5 percent. A majority of them are workers in different industries, particularly in the construction sector.

First Published: Feb 19, 2007 16:33 IST