News channels unveil programming, content strategy for Trump's visit to India

The US president Donald Trump and his wife Melania to visit India on 24-25 February.

MUMBAI: When the US president comes visiting, news channels need to stay on their toes. Indian news channels are now gearing up for a special and round-the-clock coverage of the maiden visit of the United States of America’s president Donald Trump to India on 24-25 February.

Times Now, Mirror Now and ET Now will bring a 360-degree news reportage to its viewers on US president, Donald Trump’s first-ever visit to India. Times Now with ‘Modi Trump Summit’, will run a curated programming line-up all through the day on 24 and 25 February offering viewers a comprehensive update on Trump’s visit.

Mirror Now will begin rolling coverage from 11 am anchored by news editor, Tanvi Shukla and will also host a special Urban Debate edition at 9 pm. On day-2 of Trump’s visit, it will focus on the joint statement between two nations on trade, terrorism and defence and host a two-hour primetime special show on the key takeaways and the outcome of the meeting.

Unlike Times News Network’s news channels, Network18’s CNN-News18 has lined-up exclusive programming on the first official visit of the international dignitaries. Titled ‘Namaste Trump’, the special reportage will cover every facet of President Trump’s Indian tour.

“The programming will comprise engaging news reports on Trump's India visit in view of the upcoming US presidential elections. Starting 22 February, the channel has lined-up non-stop programming capturing major highlights of the US President Trump’s India visit,” says News18 Network’s chief executive officer - English and business news cluster Basant Dhawan.

Tracking the bilateral discussions on key trade and political issues, the channel will also analyse the socio-political implications of the entire tour.

As Trump’s visit to India going to be one of the biggest televised events this year, Dhawan says, “It has led to a great deal of advertiser interest. We have been actively engaging with the advertising community and our teams have been working closely to create innovative solutions for our clients.”

Times Now and Mirror Now have deputed over 15 reporters each covering the visit from Ahmedabad, Agra and Delhi. Whereas, Network18’s CNN-News18 on-ground reporting coverage from Ahmedabad will be led by Maha Siddiqui —senior editor of the network, and the channel's programming will be led by the channels executive editor Bhupendra Chaubey along with other senior editors of the group network.

In this regard, the CEO - English and business news cluster says, “Our reporters will be reporting live from ground zero – whether it is bilateral meetings or First Lady’s visit to schools in New Delhi.”

The US president, who already is enroute to India along with wife Melania, will inaugurate Sardar Patel Gujarat Stadium in Ahmedabad, Gujarat and address at least one lakh attendees. “The programming of the network will aim to draw a parallel between ‘Howdy, Modi’ in Houston last year and ‘Namaste Trump’ in India this year,” explains Dhawan.

Times Now reportage will highlight a national and global political outlook, ET NOW will cover the economic and business aspects of Trump’s visit. Whereas, Mirror Now will present the key takeaways for India from this visit, with an emphasis on trade and visa issues. All three channels of TNN will use LiveU, OB Vans and phone cameras to air the live feed.

To decode what it essentially means for India-US ties, TNN’s Mirror Now will bring expert voices that include Barkha Dutt - Senior Journalist, Maroof Raaza - strategic and defence expert and Anil Trigunyat – former diplomat and senior journalists from the Washington Post amongst others.

"With the CNN advantage, we have exclusive access to international experts and news stories. Additionally, CNN’s journalists travelling to India as part of President Trump’s contingent will also share their outlook with CNN-News18 exclusively,” opines Dhawan.

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