Every news source is torn between two usually opposing concerns: TRPs vs. Ethics. While any news should be delivered ethically in order to gain credibility, TRPs serve as a platform’s lifeblood. For an insider in the media world, this is a daily clash.
In an era where buzzwords like fake news and sensationalism are routinely used, The Broken News is a show that takes a shallow but worthy dive into the realm of journalism.
The Zee5 series is an official remake of the British television show Press, which is centered on rival newspapers. The show is directed by Vinay Waikul, who also helmed Netflix’s Aranyak, written by Sambit Mishra, and takes place in modern-day Mumbai. The plot focuses on two competing TV channels that have contrary opinions on what constitutes news and how it should be conveyed.
Sonali Bendre plays an ethical journalist in this drama, which marks her OTT debut. As the head of Awaaz Bharati, Amira Qureshi plays by the rules but fails to reach high TRPs in the meantime. Shriya Pilgaonkar, on the other side, plays Radha, an investigative journalist who leads the news team that adamantly rejects sensationalism
Meanwhile, Jaideep Ahlawat portrays Dipankar Sanyal, an editor-anchor at Josh 24/7 who believes in making ‘kahaniyan‘ rather than news.
In an eight-part series, The Broken News seeks to capture every facet of today’s Indian media that is imaginable, from obnoxious news headlines to callous reporting to a TRP scam. Despite its flaws, the series dares to call out the Indian media as well as our society in an unabashed manner right from the first episode.
When an MLA Gulnaaz Khan’s MMS is leaked on internet channels, the Awaaz Bharti editor, played by Bendre, refuses to turn it into breaking news. Although the occurrence may appear ideal, it is also the perfect way to handle such material. While society and, at times, the media take every opportunity to condemn a woman for having agency over her body, we get to witness a side of the story that we’ve always wanted to see.
A journalist asking sensible questions. The questions that should be asked before unraveling what goes on inside someone’s bedroom and turning it into an “entertaining” narrative that reaches every family’s living room.
Sonali Bendre’s character Amina Qureshi is an honest journalist, a committed feminist, and a thoughtful woman who makes a decision that should be noted by every media outlet.
As the story continues, Gulnaaz Khan pulls back from her fight for her right to control her body and desires, fearing public humiliation. When the news crew is unable to reach their main subject, Gulnaaz, they correctly spin the topic into a story about every woman in the country. Every woman, from a college student to a powerful politician, can relate to this predicament.
While victim-blaming is a widespread occurrence, we may hear it in our own homes or on prime-time news shows. The series’ refreshing take on an MMS controversy, in which the focus is switched from the victim’s character to the perpetrator, is exactly what we need to see in films, shows, and even actual news shows.
It can never be just about a sex tape being leaked and a woman being humiliated on national television for it. The incident, without a doubt, is about beyond that aspect, and it impacts every single woman in the country.
The Broken News aptly points out that if an audience that can criticise and character assassinate a powerful woman would not hesitate to do more when it comes to a commoner.
And the fact that we are part of that audience or live among them leaves us exposed to scenarios like these, which can come to any woman, regardless of her stature.