First Woman Executive Editor in the History of Malayalam TV News
The opportunity came her way in the sixteenth year of her career as a television journalist.
Veena George is at the peak of her professional life, being the first woman Executive Editor of a Malayalam news channel.
Veena George spoke to The News Minute about her new role as the Executive Editor at Malyalam news channel TV News, her experience over the years, and the condition of women journalists in the industry.
Veena has previously worked with Kairali, Manorama and Indiavision.
How Has Television Journalism Evolved Over the Years?
Earlier, women’s representation in the visual media was limited to news reading and anchoring. But over the years, as television journalism itself progressed, the role of women reporters has gained prominence.
Now, women reporters hold live discussions and a news bulletin is not merely news reading. Presence of mind is essential in the newsroom as a lot of on-air decisions have to be taken.
In the last five years, there has been a tremendous increase in the number of news channels. Has it affected the quality of news?
There definitely has been an increase in the number of news channels which in-turn give rise to competition between different channels. However, the way the audience perceive news has also undergone changes over the years. Earlier not all news got enough prominence, but now it is not possible to omit out any news, truth will be told any which ways.
However, I wish to see the increase in the number of news channels and the related competition with a positive angle, because more human interest stories began to be reported and it has no doubt helped in improving the channels, and in making the society open to news.
How did working with three major television channels help you in your career?
When I joined Kairali TV sixteen years back, I was a physics post-graduate and was pursuing my teaching career. I joined the industry purely out of passion for news and back then, Kairali had a pool of good journalists. Professionally, Karilai had been a learning factory for me.
Later in Manorama news, the professional conduct of the newsroom was a major takeaway. Importance to language and news sense was given importance. In Indiavision we enjoyed considerable freedom to work; the sky was the limit.
What happens to news in a channel that has political leaning and how does a journalist cope up?
Every news organization has its own policies and ideologies, which most often tend to be political. Therefore, it is a reporter’s call to join the organization he/she chooses to, by first understanding the policy of the organization.
Though treatment of individual news stories will vary, it is important for any news organization to have a definite editorial policy.
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