The ‘Union For The People Who Stand Behind News Reporters Trying To Act They Just Happened To Be There’, or the UFTPWSBNRTTATJHTBT for short, called for an indefinite strike today, as talks on performance and revenue sharing broke down for the fifth consecutive week.
On this first day of strike, news reports across channels sported a deserted look, with confused reporters standing alone in front of the camera, with a disturbingly clear view of the subjects being reported. ‘It’s really unnerving,’ said junior reporter Sunanda from India TV, listlessly starring at an open manhole she’d been assigned to do a primetime exposé on. ‘Whipping up a social-crusade with stories like these in the absence of a furious mob or a candle-light vigil is a challenge in itself. Without even a couple of mildly interested onlookers, it’s virtually impossible to create any human interest whatsoever.’
The current events were set in motion four weeks ago when the News Channels Association of India had announced that they would most likely not renew their annual contract with the UFTPWSBNRTTATJHTBT citing falling performance levels. ‘The initial idea was to elevate each story with a social-reformation angle, but it was clearly not working. Our relentless crusade against wrongly painted zebra crossings has surprisingly received a very lukewarm response,’ said another junior reporter, Mr. Khanna, standing on a deserted ringroad intersection in South Delhi. ‘Besides, twenty excited, grinning men pushing and pulling to get into the frame, while simultaneously calling up their respective spouses to tell them to switch on the telly while you’re reporting how the latest natural calamity has left the country shocked and devastated can confuse some of our sensitive audiences.’
Late evening unconfirmed reports suggest that the news channels may have found a way out of the situation. A man introducing himself as the founder of a certain Fluke Determination Committee claimed that they were on the verge of inking a landmark deal with the news channels. ‘In so far as complete distraction free screen presence is concerned, we believe we have just the right candidates for the job with extensive experience in being virtually untraceable on the screen,’ he said.
Meanwhile, anticipating similar developments, news channels of neighbouring countries have already started preparations for what is being termed as ‘unassisted news reports.’ ‘We are more proactive then them,’ said Indus TV reporter Chand Nawab, featured in the clip below. ‘The first few days have been tough but we are making steady progress.’
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