“Others bark, we have bite”, “sensational crash”, “news scores over noise”, “India’s super network”, “leads always”.
No, this isn’t schoolchildren trading insults on a playground. It’s titans of Indian journalism trying to one-up each other on who’s won the ratings game.
For context, the Broadcast Audience Research Council released its data for week 36 today. This data is not released to the public; it’s handed to news channels who, unsurprisingly, cherry-pick the results that serve them best.
Which is why viewers today were treated with tickers across channels – India Today, Republic TV, Times Now and CNN-News18 – announcing to the world why their channel is better than the rest of the riffraff populating your television screens.
India Today’s tickers told viewers it has “unfake, unfixed, unbought viewership”, how “others ‘bark’, our viewership has ‘bite’”, how they’re the only channel “not deceiving viewers”.
Republic wasn’t far behind, with tickers saying “money media destroyed” – no, not sure what this means – and how there’s been a “sensational crash in Times Now viewership”. What can you expect from old rivals?
CNN-News18 also loves a good alliteration, choosing “putting Bharat and balance first” and “news scores over noise”, as well as explaining that it’s a “whopping 91% higher than Times Now”.
Since Times Now was the unanimous punching bag, what did it have to say for itself? “Thank you India for your trust”, for one. And how “‘liar and fixer’ media exposed”. Also “stop slicing, dicing & lying” – but we may never know whom they’re referring to.
Who is this “liar and fixer” media? Who is the “money media”? If you’re looking for some good old journalism to answer those questions, you won’t find them on these news channels.
Don’t forget, while all these channels might use the same metric, which is BARC’s ratings in this case, they focus on their ratings amidst different sections of the population, touting their viewership in a certain demographic. Worry not, we’ve explained it all in this report.