Television news - which has played a crucial role in the world’s most momentous events, from wars and royal weddings to mankind’s first steps on the Moon - is in the midst of a digital-fuelled revolution.
In its early years, TV news was monopolised by large corporations and state broadcasters, who controlled what went on air and when.
Then technological advances in the 1980s enabled billionaires like Ted Turner and Rupert Murdoch to muscle in and beam 24-hour news channels across the world via cable and satellite.
Today, we are living through a third, turbulent iteration: streaming over the internet is radically changing how television is produced, watched and delivered.
It has so dramatically lowered the costs of entry into what was once the exclusive domain of governments, multinationals and tycoons that almost anyone can now set up their own global news channel. But in such a fragmented world, awash with “fake news”, who and what can we trust?
In this stimulating and authoritative study, Zafar Siddiqi - who has launched and run four news channels across three continents - discusses the profound implications of this new era. Aimed at entrepreneurs, media students, industry insiders and anyone interested in TV news and its effect on humankind, it serves as a step-by-step guide for launching a news channel in the digital age.
They say that revolutions do not come with a manual. This one does.
About the author
Zafar Siddiqi was an accountant with KPMG for 18 years, initially as a partner and later as the Managing Director of one of its consultancy practices. He left the world of spreadsheets in the mid-1990s, having spotted an opportunity to launch a TV production house in his native Pakistan specialising in providing business programmes to overseas broadcasters.
A few years later, he saw the chance to start a CNBC business network across 18 countries in the Middle East, the first international brand to broadcast in Arabic. This was quickly followed by his establishing similar networks across 39 countries in Africa, and in Pakistan. Later, he started Samaa TV in Karachi, a 24-hour news and current affairs channel.
He still serves as chairman of two of these channels, devoting much of his time to their strategic direction, not least in wrestling with the challenges they face from the digital revolution that this book deals with.
He lives with his family in Dubai, Karachi and London. He can be reached via his website, TVNews3-0.com.