Dr. Fakir Mohan Nahak
THE TELEVISION NEWS INDUSTRY IN ODISHA HAS GONE THROUGH A PROGRESSIVE JOURNEY IN THE PAST TWO DECADES. IN THIS SERIES DR. FAKIRA MOHAN NAHAK PRESENTS THE MEDIA HISTORY BLENDED WITH HIS CLOSE OBSERVATION ON THE FAST-CHANGING INDUSTRY.
We get cautious and make our moves or do the activities accordingly when we come to know that we are under surveillance. However any video or photograph that is captured without our knowledge always creates a lot of curiosity, confusion and chaos. If any video or photo that captures inappropriate or illegal action, there is high chance of getting embarrassed when it is released to public platform. If it’s about any good deed, there is of course raining of instant praise and fame.
Have you ever thought of preparing a special program based on such photographs or videos taken unknowingly through candid camera? OTV started presenting a special program called “News Fuse” on similar lines and the rest is history.
At that time, Ardhendu Das was in charge of the current affairs desk of OTV. In the pursuit of doing something unique and to handle the pressure of staying relevant in the race, he continued the brainstorming and the unique program “News Fuse” was born.
The pilot episode was presented by News Anchor Mrunalakanti Nanda. But he himself could feel that the program did not suit his personality and presentation style at all. So apart from that pilot episode, he never presented the show again.
The next episode was presented by senior television and film actor Kuna Tripathi. The variety of candid camera shots used in the show, the music used, and its varied writing style and the veteran Kuna Tripathi’s presentation style helped the show popular. News Fuse became synonymous with OTV.
The program was not confined to only showing the loopholes of government officials or the politicians. It also presented fun facts and unusual events that occur in the lives of ordinary people. Rule breakers, be it the common men or those who are at the helm of power, were covered in the program in a satirical way.
Various problems of the common people and the indifference of the government and administration towards them are also included in it. It reported the problems of the society in a funny way like teacher coming to school with high on alcohol or the rampant occurrence of relatives or friends helping students pass the exam by doing all sorts of malpractice.
The program was not only about negativity and satire. It also presented stories of positivity in the most humble way. The program also featured success stories of the common people that might inspire millions over there.
Not only that, if any public representative or official has done such exemplary work, as a result of which he has become a role model for others, he is also presented very humbly in the program.
It’s analytical and satirical presentation made the program a household name. It reminded the viewers the iconic magazines of yester year “Niakhunta” or “Durmukha”. OTV has achieved great success through this program. To date, more than two thousand episodes of News Fuse have gone on air.
Prasanna Subudhi and Samarendra Baliara Singh produced News Fuse for quite a long time since its inception. Before the 2019 general elections, Kuna Tripathi was presenting the program. But later he left the show due to some personal and political reasons. Since then Hrishikesh has been presenting the News Fuse programme. Both have their unique style of presentation. However, the program continues. The audience is enjoying it during the weekend.
Now this program is being prepared by Aparna Mohanty and Subrata Das. All in all, “News Fuse” has become an identity for OTV.
Similarly, another program was started by OTV in 2012. It went on for almost a year and was popular among all the strata of people. The popular program was titled “Tasty Tasty”.
The program was all about the traditional food and cuisines of Odisha. In different episodes, it covered foods that are synonymous with Odisha and its people, the cuisines or dishes that are almost extinct in contemporary world, authentic tribal cuisines, special foods during fair and festival, varieties of prasad and food that are prepared in the temples or matts.
Its presenter was Bhakta Tripathi. Bhakta, who previously worked in newspapers for a long time, joins OTV as an investigative editor. It was then decided to prepare and produce the program as part of the current affairs segment. Bhakta Tripathi extensively travelled to different parts of the state to prepare the programme. At that time, a program of similar context was aired on NDTV India called “Zaika India Ka”. Veteran journalist VinodDua was presenting the program.
OTV’s new show Tasty Tasty was inspired by the NDTV’s show. The program had significant fan base among the non-resident Odias. It inspired the non-resident Odias to stay connected with the root by preparing and celebrating signature Odia dishes. While talking to Bhakta Tripathi, the presenter, director and producer of the program, he gave this writer the then email messages of some immigrant Odias.
The popularity of the program was even covered by some Odia and English newspapers in the form of news and features at that time. The show was discontinued after about 60 episodes were produced and aired. However it can definitely be said that programs like these have undoubtedly played a major role in bringing OTV to the number one spot.
In between the broadcast of News Fuse and Tasty Tasty, OTV launched another program called “Travel Odisha”. It was an attempt to bring Odisha’s natural beauty and tourism to the public.
Odisha Tourism Department extended support to this program. Initially Harihar Panda and later Swadheen Raut were presenting the programme. One of the unique features of all these three programs is that they try to connect people from every corner of the state. Its main objective was to present the state’s diversity in a platform and to make people aware of it. All in all, this is how the program has enriched the OTV.
(Dr. Fakira Mohan Nahak is a writer and former media professional. He is currently working as the Head of the Department of University Institute of Media Studies, Chandigarh University at Mohali, Punjab. Views are Personal)
Tags: #OTVNews #TelevisionJournalism #MediaHistory #OdiaJournalism #NewsFuse #OdishaTourism