Press Release

We’d want a Satyamev Jayate sequel: Uday Shankar of Star

30 July 2012

1. Is there, in your opinion, given the metric of audience measurement that exists today, space for socially relevant programming? The scope for socially relevant programming exists, with or without a metric for audience measurement. While we respect audience-reach surveys, we never for a moment forget that it's the strength of the content that attracts viewers in the first place. If content is to be driven only by a metric as the yardstick, then there would be no innovation whatsoever in TV programmes. That is definitely not what the Star network is about. We would rather shape the market with our understanding of our viewers than be a hostage to historical metrics.

2. Has SMJ changed, in any way, the future of socially relevant programming? Is the Indian advertiser likely to support shows in this genre, without demanding ratings? Satyamev Jayate is a watershed moment in Indian television history. Never before has a programme so passionately argued issues that affect our daily life and the communities around us. It has the potential to inspire a new genre on TV and a generation to come. Star's decision to air SMJ was not driven by advertisements. As the industry leader, we have the responsibility to create new benchmarks and that is what we have done with SMJ.3. Speaking for yourself, are you (as a person and/or as a corporate) repentant, dogged, transformed after the SMJ experience? Would you want a sequel of SMJ? The whole experience has been a humbling one. The journey of creating and shaping SMJ has been an enlightening experience. We have been privileged to have the opportunity to tell the stories that we have and to engage this country in the way we have. Honestly, we would want a sequel and for that to happen, we would need to first do sound research and our homework should be very solid. What we do know is that we have the passion to sustain this effort.4. How do you feel when critics ask why you did not take a single issue to its "logical conclusion," but instead flagged an issue and then changed the subject in the next episode? Any lesson you learnt? I'm sure you would appreciate that as a television network, it cannot be our aim to takeover duties that are normally discharged by public administrations. We have done our job with a lot of commitment and passion. It's for the administration to take note and pass laws or implement existing laws effectively to ensure compliance. Let's also not forget that the very fact you're writing about this is proof that what we started with SMJ is being taken forward in one way or another. That is exactly why I wanted to do a programme of this nature.

Source: Governance Now?

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