Nidhi Razdan is the executive editor of NDTV, with tremendous experience in the field of journalism since 1999. She hosts two shows on the channel, “Left, Right and Centre: The Idea of India”, and “The Big Fight”. Nidhi will also join Harvard University this fall as a visiting faculty for journalism.
She joins Newslaundry’s Meghnad S to discuss the future of Indian journalism, running a news channel during a lockdown, and what TV debates have become.
“We have segregated shifts,” she explains, adding that 30 minutes’ gap is maintained between the morning team departing the office and the evening team taking over. Nidhi says with people looking to credible news sources for information, it’s important for organisations to put their best foot forward while ensuring the safety of ground reporters.
The lockdown can’t last forever, she says, “but what will last for some time will be social distancing”. Therefore, newsrooms will have to find ways to make sure their offices aren’t crammed with people.
Nidhi says TV debates have turned into verbal wrestling matches, to attract eyeballs and get ads. “You can’t generalise TV debates into one box,” she adds. “I think they play a very important role if they are done well, if you have the right kind of voices, and if you’re actually trying to be constructive.” She says NDTV has adapted the TV debate to try and get the views of the people and look for solutions, roadmaps and ideas, not fights.
Nidhi also questions whether the media can come together, and think of an alternative revenue model. Is India ready for a purely subscription-based revenue system?
What’s included in my subscription?
Independent journalism is not possible until you pitch in. We have already seen what happens in ad-funded models: Journalism takes a backseat and gets sacrificed at the altar of clicks and TRPs.
Stories cost perseverance, time and resources.