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  1. Arnab Goswami, Founder, ‘Republic’: Second wave of disruption will redefine news media

Arnab Goswami, Founder, ‘Republic’: Second wave of disruption will redefine news media

The big change as we look into 2017 is the marriage of digital and TV, primarily because of changing demographics and multi-platform consumption

By: | Updated: January 9, 2017 2:08 PM
Arnab Goswami, Founder, 'Republic' Arnab Goswami, Founder, ‘Republic’

The Indian news industry has changed in unimaginable ways. As we take footsteps into 2017, I believe the Indian news genre is on the brink of conquering its next wave of disruption. Disruption which is positive, disruption which is a symbol of change, disruption which is an emblem of our progress and our fearless risk, and disruption which has become a mascot of the Indian news evolution over the last two decades.

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After spending the last 21 years working in the English news media industry, it inspires faith in me that more than 260 million Indians can now speak and comprehend the English language and that the country has gone from a 12% literacy rate in 1947 to 74.06% as per the 2011 census. These numbers are growing at a time when there are over 167 million households with television sets. To me, this not only means that the power of the television news industry is more than ever, but also that English is now joining the regional languages to become an Indian language which in itself is an intensely energising idea for us as journalists in today’s times.

Citizen first: a common goal

With literacy, especially in terms of the understanding of the English language on the rise, the fact is that at the end of 2016, the evolving landscape of the news genre in India is being sculpted not solely by those in the newsroom but also by citizens themselves. And the recognition of this one fact — that is, making the citizen the heart and focus — has been the biggest game-changer in the English news industry.

Putting the citizen’s concern, the common man’s welfare and pure untainted justice to every Indian first has been at the heart of the journalism that we have done in the last decade — whether it was the Right to Pray campaign or it was the campaign in the aftermath of Nirbhaya — it was the Indian news media that fearlessly made it their resolve to put their cameras on the citizen’s simmering anger and use their combined voices to fight for change even if it came at the challenge of taking on religious traditions, lawmakers and even making enough noise for courtrooms to reopen in some cases.

This journey of the last decade in Indian journalism ridden with unflinching determination to put the citizen first has, I believe, started to uproot the news media from the days when journalism was restricted to sitting on cosy cushions in the corridors of power.

Advertising will follow

For too long, we have been a spectator to news creation which happens with a reporter standing outside the Parliament house. Now the time has come, I believe, to take the news capital out of the national capital and let it spread its wings and roots into every nook and cranny of the country. Because it is time Indian news media represents the entire 3,287,263 kilometres of India and every one of those 1.3 billion stories we encompass instead of just a clique residing in a part of the

national capital.

With this change in mindset and conceptual shakeup of the status-quo in content creation, advertising will follow as we make good and dynamic content the fulcrum of our newsrooms. Advertising booms only proportionately to winning the trust of the viewer.

Moving away from being on the brink of a shakeup of content creation, the other big change as we look into 2017 is the marriage of digital and television platforms, primarily because of changing demographics along with the strong emergence of a multi-platform consumption pattern.

As reading the morning newspaper has become more of an activity on digital screens rather than the physical black and white paper form, the possibilities of content creation as well as content funnelling are umpteen. As print dabbles with digitising, television stands on the verge of revamping the digital space by using the medium beyond just a mirror to its primary screen, and instead becoming home to a space which functions as a pipe in the larger purpose of content creation, delivery and consumption.

Future of news

With 53.7% of the Indian population under 24 years of age, with the country home to 220 million smartphone users, with India becoming a habitat to a fast-growing 462 million internet users and, as vitally, with 3G and 4G users tripling in the last 24 months — the linkage of digital and television, packaged to the consumer’s needs and wants, is the future of news in a country which is growing younger.

This cocktail of growing literacy, the citizen being the focus, good content being the driver of social change and news agenda, the impeding pipe between digital and television and the physical uprooting of the news centre from the national capital — will all come together if we restore our faith in a single pursuit: that is, an independent media which has the fearlessness to be answerable to none but itself and be regulated by itself in a way that the dogged pursuit of the story is the only compulsion it has.

Once we reach there, and I believe 2017 is a solid place to start, we would have a second wave of disruption redefining our system once again — a redefinition that will span far beyond the borders of India because in the next three to four years, it is this disruption which will see us leap into taking this Indian home-carved model and going global.

As we enter 2017, I don’t see any reason why we won’t.

Arnab Goswami
Founder, ‘Republic’

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  1. Ajay Chib
    May 7, 2017 at 10:52 am
    Congratulations Arnab ji for launching Republic we were eagerly waiting for you well done for bombarding Bihar govt lallu and Shabbudin criminal Nexus....
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      Ajay chib
      May 7, 2017 at 10:49 am
      Weldone arnab sir and congratulations for launching republic we all were waiting for you because you are a true Nationalist and Ballistic Journalist
      Reply
      1. %e0%ae%9a%e0%af%81%e0%ae%95%e0%ae%a9%e0%af%8d%e0%a
        Jan 13, 2017 at 2:19 am
        I thought he was standing in ATM queue this much time after he quit Times now lols :-)Nation wants to know - Do you really needed for journalism . better join BJP and shout instead.
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          Adarsh
          Jan 7, 2017 at 7:53 am
          Dear Arnab,Please Spare the Indian Media from the polarized , demolishing and shouting stunts.No offenses meant but there has been a big relief since you were away , though left behind are trying to copy you as much possible. All praises for you, Your style has been unique , but Indian TV needs a balanced and unbiased articulated anchor .Just see if you can be one ? Then we can witness another dawn in TV journalism in India
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            Dulal Deka
            Jan 25, 2017 at 4:50 pm
            I always with Arnav Goswami.Bcos he is a streightforoward man.
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              Gajendra Thakur
              Jan 14, 2017 at 4:52 pm
              Best of luck
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                Gajendra Thakur
                Jan 14, 2017 at 4:54 pm
                Best of Luck
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                  Kamal
                  Jan 10, 2017 at 5:20 pm
                  Really waiting for you to GO..You shown the people the power of truth with conviction SALUTE
                  Reply
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                    K N
                    Jan 7, 2017 at 4:48 am
                    ARNAB is the Best & Hope REPUBLIC TV CHANNEL will surp the rating of all other channels soon..dia needs 100 Arnab's to ensure that the cream of true democracy touches 1.3 billion heart & soul of this great soil...Wishing Arnab & Republic a gr8 success. THE NATION IS JUST WAITING FOR YOU MR. ARNAB !!!
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                      Anish
                      Jan 9, 2017 at 4:43 pm
                      This unethical is back in the news industry who knows nothings but spreading propaa of his political linage... this country will be polarized with hidden agenda using paid news and poisonous tongue.
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                        RK
                        Jan 6, 2017 at 9:13 am
                        There are lot of points which are contrary to the image Arnab Goswami projected i.e., he was totally anti-upa. The point on Literacy growth to 74% is actually a testimony of the performance of Congress and actually a great achievement. Further, the point on growth of Television clearly indicates the positive side and all those rhetoric which Arnab and his entourage in Times Now were indulging especially that last 60 plus years India was backward etc., is something not at all evident..one needs to read in between lines..to understand that Journos can change as they change positions? Right? May not be political but something not nice.
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                          noor
                          Jan 6, 2017 at 10:26 am
                          can he match Intergrity of Dr Pranav Roy. Never
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                            noor
                            Jan 6, 2017 at 10:28 am
                            unfortunate he got funding i think his bias journalism has Paid off.
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                              noor
                              Jan 6, 2017 at 10:27 am
                              we can again witness shouting like dogs patronizing BJP and insulting Islam and other liberal citizens.
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                                Rao
                                Jan 11, 2017 at 6:11 am
                                Arnab is surely one of those who uplifted easy chair journalism into a hot seat journalism. He is not to be held responsible or blamed for the agressive trends in media news channels: he just rode the wave, and did a good job. Nice to know that he is getting a second wind instead of fading away into oblivion or finding a comfort zone in some political set up.
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                                  Pranab Pani
                                  Jan 10, 2017 at 1:18 pm
                                  Very true analysis with the glimpse to the impending future of the media in India that excites the Citizens of Republic India and who else but the maverick & vocal newsman, Arnab Goswami to helm the affairs? Like WB Yeats' "The Second Coming", Indian TV news will don a catalytic role with the dawn of "Republic". Indian electronic media history remembers Dr. Pronoy Roy as the Father of New Age Television and Arnab Goswami, the 'Disrupting' catalyst with a true paradigm shift in its presentation and style. Advantage Indian TV Viewers. Hail Republic & Welcome Back ArnabG. Best wishes, Pranab Pani, Bangalore.
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                                    Ryan Taylor
                                    Jan 10, 2017 at 7:57 am
                                    Wish you happy New Year ! Happy to have you back !!! The nation wants to know when are you on ? It takes a lot of gumption to be where you are & definitely this Change was most welcome & now it will be all the more ....Sleepless nights for the offender in India !!
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                                      shrikant
                                      Jan 10, 2017 at 4:43 am
                                      wish u a very happy new year and all the best for your new venture !!! good to see you back!!!!
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                                        SK Iyer
                                        Jan 6, 2017 at 11:35 am
                                        That is why people like you can have NDTV which is blatantly pro-congress and pro-muslim.
                                        Reply
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                                          Sukhvinder Singh
                                          Jan 6, 2017 at 8:20 am
                                          Looking forward to the new space in NEWS and fresh approach to the content creation and consumption. The Future is of Interactive Content on TV wherein the user/viewer can also get engaged as much as possible. Indian Viewer gets quite aware only when tapped. We as viewers urgently needs a mainstream platform of NEWS content wherein we can voice our opinion also by interacting with it. Arnab, Wishing you the very best for your New Venture.
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                                            Swetha Shenoy
                                            Jan 8, 2017 at 4:34 am
                                            Dear Arnab, you more toxic than a consignment for Uranium. You grew bold due to the Times platform and you abused the platform to get notoriety as BJP's paid stooge, till Times realized their mistake and kicked you out. You will never rise again, thank god!
                                            Reply
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