Navika Kumar
Navika Kumar, Group Editor-Politics, Times Network | Twitter | @navikakumar
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New Delhi: English news channel Times Now has decided to suspend its live election results coverage of four states and a union territory Sunday, citing its emphasis on Covid-19 coverage as the reason.

The move is unprecedented and a first for a national news channel. 

Industry sources told ThePrint that other major news channels such as Republic TV, India Today, TV9 Bharatvarsh would continue their live coverage of the election results. 

Sonia Singh, NDTV’s editorial director, told ThePrint that while the channel will be covering the election results, its main and primary focus will remain the “corona situation and latest numbers as always”.

“For us this is the biggest health and humanitarian crisis in India and our coverage tomorrow, like every day since this began, will reflect that,” she said.

‘Will carry flash news updates on the counting’

In a statement issued Saturday, Times Now said that while the channel acknowledges that the five state elections results are of interest to their homebound viewers, it has decided to suspend their “usual special election coverage” Sunday. 

“We will refrain from covering poll-related celebrations as a symbolic gesture of our disagreement with the untimeliness of this activity,” the statement said. 

It added the channel will keep Covid-19 as its main priority and focus on Covid-related news reports, the progress of the universalised vaccination drive, information on helplines and interaction with healthcare and mental wellness experts. 

“To keep viewers informed on the election results, and with due respect for the democratic process wherein 20 per cent of our population has participated in the sacred ritual of voting in the last month, we will carry flash news updates on the counting and results,” the statement added.   

It also said that as the Covid wave keeps climbing and claiming more lives, it is clear that there has been serious lapse in leadership at all levels — across the political spectrum. 

“It is unfortunate that our institutions have also failed us leading to the current state of disarray, anguish and all round panic,” it said, adding that Times Now has been vocal against these lapses and has questioned holding the Kumbh Mela in March 2021 as much as it had highlighted the Tablighi Jamaat fiasco in May 2020.

Live coverage of the election results — and exit polls coverage — are a major news event for the media and traditionally news channels provide extended all-day coverage that consists of the counting and results, analysis and debates with much pomp.

The election special shows are also believed to earn significant revenues for news channels with several advertisers advertising during the high-visibility coverage.

Leading news channels had hosted live exit opinion polls Thursday.

Other channels

English news channel India Ahead said it will keep its coverage on Sunday focused on Covid. In a statement, the channel said the only victory that matters right now is over Covid, and not election.

Editor-in-chief of the channel Bhupendra Chaubey in a tweet said, “#CovidEmergency vs #AssemblyPolls. Pick your choice. We have already done that.”

 

Brajesh Mishra, editor-in-chief of Hindi news channel Bharat Samachar has also tweeted that they will not cover the poll results, adding that the channel’s focus will be on saving lives.

Two days ago, journalist Barkha Dutt also announced on Twitter that her online channel Mojo Story will not be doing any shows on the state election results, stating that the rallies were “immoral and criminal” and the event does not deserve airtime.

(Edited by Debalina Dey)

This report has been updated to add that India Ahead news channel will keep its coverage on Sunday focused on Covid.


Also read: If you claim India’s Covid death toll is 2x govt figure, it’s understandable. But not 10x


 

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73 COMMENTS

  1. Who watches TV these days? After crass Arnab Giswami yelling everyday at 9 pm and setting up an example of bad behavior which mother would allow her children to see this bull shit. I immediately disconnected Tata Sky from my house. We are at peace now, going back to Times of India newspaper where facts are reported and one can form his or her own opinion.

  2. There is nothing much about BJP in the South, hope you have other thing’s to cover about Modi Ji..

  3. Kudos to Times Now for taking the initiative. Our Democratic leader’s has failed
    We atr on the brink of death, misery and dissatisfaction. The right to vote , we ourselves have faltered in exercising ot our choices were wrong so the democratic institutions have been defied by our leadership that has failed to strategize the situation and we stand as a failed country in the wake of pandemic.The kumbhs were important the rallies had to be conducted at the cost of Indian life

    See how cheap is the INDIAN LIFE
    ANY LEADER can buy it ,any religious custom can flaunt it any political institution can break it

  4. All of news agency are modi slaves and there bread and butter is comming from politics ,no where human life is important ,all of these patrakar are highly paid ,and this is all shame ,see how young people Sardana died.all credit for Sardana death goes to Modi government and Kejriwal govt.

  5. What was Padmaja Joshi doing checking the mood of Bengal ? Why were there no debates on Covid 19? All of a sudden a holier than cow attitude by Times Now
    .

  6. Appreciate the Times now symbolic gesture and continued focus on biggest health and humanitarian crisis in India

  7. Stop commenting in a comments column, instead of blaming other lets try to retrospect ourselves, for everything dont blame a PM,he is not God Almighty to shower you what you wish, Help others if not pray for others ,if not keep silence India will overcome. ( this is especially for a gentleman who decries pm)

  8. Media is a pillar of democracy. Responsible Media is needed in this country.

    Saving lives is of utmost importance. If government and institutions fail us then it’s media which has been the voice of public. We should support all such acts at various levels.

  9. Genuine journalism had been bought by the politicians, businessmen,power machineries since so called Independence of this hapless country & it’s a game globally prevailing since modern civilisation by visualisation of the fact of easy propagation of one’s intention to enjoy the supreme contentions by palatable stories made from even indoors with a few animations. It’s quite difficult for a spineless mass of 135+crores, to rejuvenate this platform in this country,ruled mostly by the illiterate, headless creatures supported by the age-old constitution,made by the political persons of dual/multicolored characters in a devastating situation,left over by the Britishers.

  10. They made it official not to cover elections but at the same time they are not covering hospitals, people dying and being cremated, the real figures, oxygen and vaccine scarcity, not asking real questions and many more.

  11. Too little too late…should have woken up when every tom dick and harry was holding rallies

  12. Keep licking modi,s feet, he’ll keep showering fire from above. At last u will find urself in the middle of SHAMSAN&KABARASTAN

  13. Highly Appreciated.Human lives are more important than election.Mask of this government is revealed.

  14. Times Now without Arnab Goswami, is collapsing. Their Exit Poll Survey is so poor that they will have difficulty to defend their numbers. For example,. Times Now’s Poll shows that BJP will lose in Bengal when actually BJP will win Bengal. This is the real reason that the Editors decided not to show up on TV. This is the behind scenes reason for their sudden love for Covid19 coverage.

  15. Thank you Times! You proved again my choice to be a ToI reader is correct and I’m enlightened by you with the news matters most. Kudos to your decision…this shows change!!

  16. Most of TV have learnt that prasing none man and defending is going to cost them and they are just showing some mercy to us but will be back soon defending the gov over the shoulders of poor Indian citizen.

  17. Absolutely correct…kudos to timesnow…..it’s time we showed the politicians that they are not worthy of all this media glare

  18. Really very nice initiative, and this must be followed by all channels also if they feel that life is precious than vote

  19. Very good initiative. They want to just win seats. All of them failed in protecting citizens. Why was the Kumbh conducted in the first place in Uttarakhand. Why were there mass rallies of all parties. They all ignored social distancing norms. Let President rule come over!

  20. Just an attempt to be preachy. Burqa Dutt didn’t mind giving out locations of Indian positions even if it was inadvertent, during Kargil. All these channels cover the Covid tragedy or other issues, only to milk it for TRPs . They have no other purpose in life.

  21. Wisdom has prevailed at last.
    Whom will you rule, if people are lost. We wanted NRC n see who are getting out of the NRC??Have mercy on us God have mercy,
    We have called this fate on ourselves by not seeing what we needed to see, and not acting when we needed to Act.

  22. Don’t worry. Covid coverage of timesnow will also be Modi bhajan on how well he is handling covid

  23. Go on..we expect some more such gesture from other media coverages….At least humanity will be there….Stand strong..All very best..

  24. Our stand is very clear if BJP is getting defeat in the election than we will be covering live vote counting, otherwise we will be live in the hospitals to expose the various deficiencies in services for which Mr Modi is personally responsible

  25. It is high time citizens make their voice heard.
    It is high time citizens make governance and all other institutions accountable.
    It is high time citizens behave with maturity and in a civilized manner.

  26. What about Arvind Kejriwal’s ads being telecast every 15 minutes! Is it ethical for these channels, even after seeing the situation of Delhi, at present.
    But it’s question of bread and butter for them, what if people die, they got to survive.

  27. It does not matter if you telecast it or not. Results shall come any way with you without you inspite of you. This time it will be a silent event without unnecessary noise and sensationalise. Please keep doing such noble work atleast once in a month and you will do a great service to the people of India.

  28. It is a very good decision. Infact all the news channels should not broadcast the election results. Though it will go on the deaf ears of the politicians but there is always a first step. Our lives are more important than the elections. In democracy, the politicians have become equivalent to God in our country. Shame on all including Modi ji. Never recieved this from him

  29. All media houses are now a days have become agenda masters, they are not independent, hence not reliable.

    In current pandemic or ever, we have not seen anyone doing any welfare work for suffer except conducting ‘cock fight’ .

    they do or not, it doesn’t matter for us!

  30. Well done all media houses should follow it we should give NO importance to these political parties and to the election bulletin during these tough times

  31. What difference will it make on the covid 19 situation if the channel does not report on election ?
    In fact if all channels refrain then there would be silence everywhere which would be most welcome in this carona days.

  32. A wasteful decision. Nature’s furry can not be stopped by any one. God gives and retracts. No point in blaming any individual or institution for the present crisis. Good at least we can skip one channel

  33. Ya because bjp is gonna lose barka on a other hand respect and true the election are a crime
    But as long as bjp doesn’t win we are good

  34. Navika Kumar and Times Now knows BJP is not doing well. So this is an act of redemption for the news channel. Don’t worry, we know your motives

  35. regretfully state that political rallies held completely insensitive to the sufferings of mankind in India with a selfish motive and self interest by politicians in the four states is not highlighted as the singular cause of the spread of the disease by the news media — on the contrary other events are magnified as the root root cause — very biased and with prejudice — probably at the behest of somebody — showing lack of courage and spine to blame the actual culprits — very very discriminatory – very clearly visible to the discerning public

  36. Congrats ,I heartfully congratulate ur channel for this bold and great step,first of all it was grave mistake on part of govt to conduct elections when experts had predicted 2nd wave of carons. This isituation govt has to accept its bad decision. Above all it was once again wrong to have allowed kumbh shan when covid 2nd wave had already started ,This is publics man ki bat

  37. Late realisation ….atleast start reporting NEWS not your stupid reviews – start a CARTOON channel

  38. The current situation simply put it, is due to greed of power by 2 individuals, who have threatened ECI and other institutions. Only power and capture power. MLAs brought, rallies in numbers as per their wish, 8 phases of elections, the Communal Khumbh…who cared. Today, after losing eyesight we speak of Surys namaskar. Naxals usurp democracy for different reasons, the current 2 grab States ….again for different reasons

  39. Well done news channel you put the public health before the murky politics and the meaningless elections.You need to do more than this symbolic gesture,nevertheless it’s a new beginning..

  40. Better late than never. Electoral chest thumping in these times of unprecedented crisis is criminal.

  41. BJP WINNING BENGAL IS THE MOST HISTORIC DAY AND COVID IS WAR WITH CHINA STRONG MODI WILL DEFEAT CHINA YA ALLAH HELP IBDIA

  42. I don’t understand why everyone is having hatred towards one man who has shown guts to challenge the lobbies who looted our country for 7 decades and did only filling of coffers of one family.
    Also don’t forget this is democratically elected government with absolute majority two times.
    This is not a joke.
    Also, remember that BJP was never a party to reckon in South and in West Bengal.
    This time it is on the verge of toppling the appeasement and corrupt government in West Bengal then it is huge huge achievement by Modi
    Please don’t try to give wrong information.
    Jai hind

  43. A sensible move indeed, others should follow. It would be shame if others continue the exercise the coverage of election results. The winning parties instead of celebration should mourn the dead as it was irresponsible for not following Covid appropriate behaviour

  44. Times Now exit polls results will fall flat. They don’t want to be questioned on their exit polls methodology.

  45. I salute this bold step . All channel should follow this, but ,I know, they willl not dare to do so.
    I am a big fan of Tines now. Now onwards I will never follow Other channel like ReUglic.,

  46. Praiseworthy. When the government does well, shower it with rose petals. When it doesn’t, hold its feet to the fire.

  47. Kudos to you all
    The entire media should join in to condemn the self centered politics of our leaders which has doomed our country

  48. Modi party facing wipe out in the south is not easy to report perhaps. Never mind Times now!!. Get a credit for it anyway in some other form!!

    • Sir,
      The eyes are on Bengal. No media is giving any shit to the TN poll results.
      You have successfully alienated yourself by following the stupid and fake aryan-dravidian theory.

      🙂

    • Modi party never won in TN pondy and kerala and times now reported it for the last 20 years. Why it Should find it difficult now. Wild meaningless imaginations.

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