Top National News Channels in India

Top National News Channels in India

A traditional Indian television set displaying the vibrant colors of a peacock, surrounded by an antenna, a microphone, and a map of India in a warm household setting.


The top national news channels in India play a crucial role in keeping the public informed and updated on current affairs, politics, economy, and social issues. This article aims to discuss the significance of these news channels and their impact on public discourse.

The selection criteria for the featured channels are based on their viewership, credibility, and influence in shaping public opinion. As we delve into the landscape of news channels in India, we will explore:

  • The diverse range of channels across different languages and regions
  • Insights into their unique programming strategies and editorial stances

Hindi News Channels

When it comes to national news channels in India, the Hindi news channels hold a significant place in the media landscape. These channels cater to a wide audience base and play a crucial role in keeping the public informed and updated on the latest news and events. In this section, we will explore one of the most-watched Hindi news channels, Aaj Tak, and delve into its history and unique characteristics.

1. Aaj Tak

Aaj Tak has established itself as one of the leading Hindi news channels in India. It was launched in December 2000 and has since gained immense popularity among viewers. Aaj Tak’s success can be attributed to several factors:

History of Aaj Tak

Aaj Tak started as a 30-minute news bulletin on Doordarshan, the national broadcaster in India. Over time, it evolved into a full-fledged news channel with round-the-clock coverage. This transition marked a new era in Indian television journalism.

Sensationalism and Entertainment-driven Format

Aaj Tak adopted a unique approach that combines news reporting with an element of sensationalism and entertainment. The channel focuses on delivering news in a fast-paced, engaging manner that appeals to a wide range of viewers. This format has helped Aaj Tak capture the attention of the masses and maintain its position as one of the most-watched Hindi news channels.

“Aaj Tak’s success lies in its ability to strike a balance between delivering news updates and captivating its viewers through its sensationalized approach.”

Aaj Tak’s emphasis on sensationalism and entertainment-driven content has been both praised and criticized. While some argue that it compromises journalistic ethics by prioritizing TRPs over accurate reporting, others believe that it effectively engages viewers and provides them with an entertaining way to stay informed.

In conclusion, Aaj Tak’s journey from being a 30-minute bulletin to becoming one of the most-watched Hindi news channels is a testament to its popularity and impact on public discourse. Its sensationalism and entertainment-driven format have played a significant role in attracting viewers and keeping them engaged. However, it is important to critically analyze the impact of such formats on the quality of journalism and the responsibility of news channels towards accurate reporting.

2. ABP News

ABP News holds a significant position in the landscape of Hindi news channels, reflecting the dominance of the Hindi language in Indian media and the popularity of Hindi news channels. Here are some key talking points to explore about ABP News:

  • Coverage and Programming Strategy: ABP News is known for its comprehensive coverage of current affairs, politics, entertainment, and social issues. The channel’s programming strategy encompasses a wide range of shows that cater to diverse audience segments. Its editorial stance towards news dissemination reflects a balance between hard-hitting journalism and engaging storytelling.
  • Flagship Shows: ABP News features flagship shows that have gained immense popularity among viewers due to their in-depth analysis, impactful reporting, and insightful discussions. These shows contribute to shaping public opinion and fostering informed debates on critical issues.
  • Engagement with Viewers: ABP News has carved a niche for itself by actively engaging with its audience through interactive formats, town hall discussions, and citizen journalism initiatives. This approach enhances the channel’s connect with the public and provides a platform for diverse voices to be heard.

ABP News continues to play a pivotal role in shaping the narrative of national news coverage through its dynamic programming and commitment to delivering impactful journalism.

3. NDTV India

When it comes to Hindi news channels, it’s important to acknowledge the strong presence of the Hindi language in Indian media and the popularity of Hindi news channels. One such channel that stands out among the rest is NDTV India, thanks to its unique qualities that make it different from other Hindi news channels.

What sets NDTV India apart?

Here are some key features that make NDTV India stand out:

  • Emphasis on In-Depth Analysis: NDTV India is known for its thorough analysis of news events, giving viewers a complete understanding of important stories. This approach allows audiences to explore the complexities of various issues in detail, promoting a more knowledgeable public discussion.
  • Ground Reporting: The channel also sets itself apart through its dedication to ground reporting. By bringing firsthand accounts and on-the-ground perspectives to the forefront, NDTV India ensures that its coverage reflects the realities experienced by people in different areas.
  • Unbiased Journalism: NDTV India has established itself as a reliable source of unbiased journalism, making an effort to present news stories with impartiality and accuracy. This commitment to ethical reporting strengthens the channel’s credibility and fosters trust among its viewers.

Why does it matter?

By focusing on these distinctive aspects, NDTV India continues to influence the world of Hindi news broadcasting. It offers a platform that goes beyond simply sharing headlines, instead providing audiences with valuable insights and context.

This kind of journalism is crucial in today’s media landscape, where information can be easily distorted or sensationalized. NDTV India’s commitment to in-depth analysis, ground reporting, and unbiased journalism helps ensure that viewers have access to reliable news sources that they can trust.

Through its programming choices and editorial decisions, NDTV India plays a significant role in shaping public opinion and discourse in Hindi-speaking regions of India.

4. News18 India

Hindi news channels, such as Aaj Tak, have dominated the Indian media landscape for years. The popularity of Hindi news channels can be attributed to the widespread use of the Hindi language in India and the cultural affinity towards Hindi programming. News18 India is one such Hindi news channel that has made a significant impact on the viewers.

News18 India offers a diverse range of programming content that caters to the interests and preferences of its audience. Some of its popular shows include:

  1. “Bhaiyaji Kahin” – This show focuses on social issues and aims to create awareness among the masses by highlighting stories of ordinary people who have brought about positive change in society.
  2. “Aar Paar” – A high-energy debate show where panelists from different political ideologies engage in intense discussions on current affairs and national issues.
  3. “Janta Ki Baat” – This show gives a platform to the common man to voice their opinions and concerns, providing a unique perspective on various social and political topics.
  4. “Hum To Poochenge” – A talk show where renowned personalities from different fields are interviewed, discussing their journey, experiences, and views on relevant issues.

News18 India has gained popularity due to its engaging content and its ability to connect with its audience on a personal level. The channel’s commitment to unbiased journalism and responsible reporting has also contributed to its credibility among viewers.

In addition to these popular shows, News18 India covers a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, sports, and business. It provides comprehensive coverage of major events and breaking news, ensuring that viewers stay informed about the latest developments across the country.

The success of News18 India can be attributed to its ability to strike a balance between informative news programming and engaging content that resonates with its audience. Its varied programming content ensures that there is something for everyone, making it a preferred choice for Hindi news viewers.

The dominance of Hindi news channels like News18 India reflects the importance of regional and language-specific news channels in catering to the diverse needs of Indian viewers. These channels play a crucial role in keeping the public informed and engaged, contributing to the overall media landscape in India.

English News Channels in India

1. Times Now

When it comes to English news channels in India, Times Now stands out as a prominent player in the industry. Known for its aggressive journalism and prime time debates, Times Now has carved a niche for itself in the competitive news broadcasting landscape.

Aggressive Journalism

Times Now is renowned for its assertive approach towards news reporting. The channel is often at the forefront of breaking news stories and provides extensive coverage of significant events, both nationally and internationally. This proactive stance has contributed to its reputation as a go-to source for up-to-the-minute developments.

Prime Time Debates

One of the distinguishing features of Times Now is its engaging prime time debates. These debates tackle a wide range of topics, from politics and current affairs to social issues and beyond. The channel’s ability to stimulate meaningful discussions and present diverse perspectives has resonated with audiences across the country.

Impactful Coverage

With a focus on impactful storytelling and in-depth analysis, Times Now has been instrumental in shaping public opinion and fostering critical thinking among viewers. Its comprehensive approach to news coverage ensures that key issues are brought to the forefront, fostering awareness and informed discourse.

Global Perspective

In addition to its domestic coverage, Times Now also provides a global perspective on significant international developments. This broad outlook allows viewers to gain insights into global affairs and their implications on India’s geopolitical landscape.

Times Now’s unwavering commitment to delivering accurate, timely, and thought-provoking news content has cemented its position as one of the leading English news channels in India.

2. NDTV 24×7

NDTV 24×7, one of the prominent English news channels in India, serves a niche audience that prefers consuming news in the English language. With the growing influence of English language media in shaping public opinion, NDTV 24×7 has established itself as a reliable source of news and information.

Award-Winning Journalism

NDTV 24×7 is known for its award-winning journalism and has received accolades both nationally and internationally. The channel has been recognized for its investigative reporting, in-depth analysis, and balanced coverage of various issues. It has won several prestigious awards such as the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Award for its outstanding work in journalism.

Unbiased Reporting Ethics

NDTV 24×7 upholds ethical standards in its reporting by providing unbiased coverage of news events. The channel aims to present multiple perspectives on a given issue and encourages healthy debates and discussions. This commitment to fairness and objectivity sets NDTV 24×7 apart from other news channels.

Wide Coverage and Expert Insights

  • NDTV 24×7 covers a wide range of topics including politics, business, sports, entertainment, and social issues.
  • The channel features expert opinions from renowned journalists, analysts, and commentators who provide insights into the stories that matter.

Special Programs for In-Depth Analysis

  • In addition to its regular news bulletins, NDTV 24×7 also airs special programs that delve deeper into current affairs.
  • These programs often feature interviews with newsmakers, panel discussions with subject matter experts, and documentaries that offer a comprehensive understanding of complex issues.

The channel’s commitment to quality journalism has earned it a dedicated viewership who value its credibility and reliability. NDTV 24×7 continues to play a significant role in keeping the public informed about national and international events through its comprehensive coverage and insightful analysis.

NDTV 24×7 not only focuses on news but also extends its influence beyond television. As mentioned in their Annual Report 2020-21, they have made significant strides in various areas. Additionally, the channel actively participates in events like the IAAC Literary Festival where it contributes to the cultural and intellectual discourse of the nation.

As English news channels gain popularity among urban audiences in India, NDTV 24×7 remains at the forefront of delivering news in a format that appeals to this niche demographic. Its commitment to unbiased reporting and award-winning journalism positions it as a trusted source for English-speaking viewers.

3. CNN-News18

CNN-News18 is a prominent player in the landscape of English news channels in India, catering to a niche audience with a growing influence in shaping public opinion. Here are the key talking points about CNN-News18:

  • Global News Coverage: CNN-News18 adopts a comprehensive global news coverage strategy with a distinct Indian perspective. It provides viewers with insights into international events while connecting them to their implications for India and its citizens.
  • Distinct Indian Perspective: The channel offers a unique Indian lens through which global news is presented, making it relevant and engaging for its audience. This approach resonates with viewers who seek a broader understanding of world affairs from an Indian standpoint.

CNN-News18’s commitment to delivering in-depth global news with an Indian context sets it apart within the realm of English news channels in India. Its ability to balance international coverage with local relevance contributes to its appeal and influence among viewers seeking a broader worldview.

The channel’s distinctive strategy not only keeps the audience informed about global events but also enables them to discern the impact of these developments on India. This approach reflects the evolving preferences of viewers who value insightful and contextual reporting in today’s interconnected world.

4. India Today

India Today is a prominent player in the landscape of English news channels in India, catering to a niche audience with its comprehensive news coverage approach and popular shows. The channel has carved a niche for itself with its diverse programming and distinctive editorial stance.

Key Points

  • Comprehensive News Coverage: India Today is known for its in-depth and comprehensive coverage of news, ranging from politics and current affairs to social issues and cultural events. The channel ensures a well-rounded approach to presenting news, providing viewers with a holistic understanding of the events shaping the nation.
  • Popularity of Shows: India Today’s shows have garnered significant popularity among viewers, attracting a loyal audience base. Programs such as “News Today with Rajdeep Sardesai” and “To The Point” have become synonymous with quality journalism and incisive analysis, contributing to the channel’s strong viewership.

India Today’s influence reflects the growing prominence of English language media in shaping public opinion and discourse in India. As the channel continues to evolve, it remains a significant force in the realm of English news broadcasting, upholding its commitment to delivering credible and insightful journalism.

The extensive reach and impact of India Today underscore the dynamism of English news channels in India, further enriching the media landscape and providing viewers with diverse perspectives on national and global developments.

Regional and Language-Specific News Channels

In addition to the national news channels, India also has a diverse range of regional and language-specific news channels that cater to specific regions and linguistic communities. These channels play a crucial role in providing news and information to their respective audiences, reflecting the local culture, politics, and socio-economic issues. One such prominent regional news channel is ABP Ananda, which focuses on delivering news in Bengali.

1. ABP Ananda (Bengali)

ABP Ananda has gained significant popularity and viewership as one of the leading Bengali news channels. It has managed to carve a niche for itself by providing impactful reportage on socio-political issues in West Bengal. Here are some key points about ABP Ananda:

  • Popularity and Viewership: ABP Ananda has garnered a loyal viewership base due to its extensive coverage of local news stories that matter to the people of West Bengal. The channel’s focus on relevant topics such as politics, social issues, culture, and entertainment has resonated with the audience.
  • Impactful Reportage: ABP Ananda is known for its in-depth reporting that goes beyond headlines. The channel aims to provide comprehensive coverage of various events and incidents, offering detailed analysis and expert opinions. This approach has helped ABP Ananda establish itself as a trusted source of news among Bengali-speaking viewers.
  • Local Perspective: ABP Ananda understands the importance of presenting news from a local perspective. The channel covers stories and events that are specific to West Bengal, ensuring that viewers stay informed about the latest happenings in their region. By highlighting local issues, ABP Ananda keeps the public engaged and connected to their community.
  • Engaging Shows: ABP Ananda features a range of engaging shows that cater to different interests and preferences. From current affairs debates to talk shows and cultural programs, the channel offers a diverse mix of content that keeps viewers entertained and informed.

ABP Ananda’s success can be attributed to its ability to connect with the Bengali-speaking audience by delivering news in their native language and addressing their specific concerns. The channel’s commitment to impactful reportage and in-depth analysis has earned it a loyal following among viewers in West Bengal.

It is worth noting that there are several other regional and language-specific news channels across India that cater to different linguistic communities. These channels play a vital role in providing news and information in local languages, ensuring that people have access to relevant and reliable news sources. By catering to the specific needs and interests of their respective regions, these channels contribute to the diversity and inclusivity of India’s media landscape.

TV9 Bharatvarsh (Gujarati, Hindi)

TV9 Bharatvarsh is a prominent regional news channel in Gujarat that has expanded its reach to become a national news channel broadcasting in both Gujarati and Hindi. This expansion has allowed TV9 Bharatvarsh to cater to a wider audience and provide news coverage in multiple languages. Here are some key points about TV9 Bharatvarsh:

1. Expansion from regional to national

TV9 Bharatvarsh started as a regional news channel in Gujarat, catering primarily to the Gujarati-speaking population. However, recognizing the potential of reaching a larger audience, the channel made the strategic decision to expand its coverage to a national level. This expansion has allowed TV9 Bharatvarsh to establish itself as a significant player in the Indian news industry.

2. Distinctive programming for different audiences

One of the strengths of TV9 Bharatvarsh is its ability to cater to both Gujarati and Hindi-speaking audiences. The channel offers distinct programming in each language, ensuring that it effectively engages with viewers from different regions. By providing content specific to each language group, TV9 Bharatvarsh ensures that it remains relevant and relatable to its diverse viewership.

3. Hyper-local news coverage

As a regional news channel that has expanded nationally, TV9 Bharatvarsh understands the importance of hyper-local news coverage. The channel recognizes that addressing hyper-local issues is crucial for preserving cultural diversity and ensuring that all segments of society are represented in the media landscape. By highlighting local stories and events, TV9 Bharatvarsh gives a voice to communities and individuals who might otherwise be overlooked by larger national news channels.

4. Focus on socio-political issues

Like many other regional news channels, TV9 Bharatvarsh places significant emphasis on socio-political issues that directly impact its viewership. The channel aims to inform and educate its audience about local politics, policies, and events that shape their daily lives. By focusing on these issues, TV9 Bharatvarsh plays a crucial role in fostering civic engagement and empowering its viewers to participate actively in the democratic process.

TV9 Bharatvarsh’s expansion from a regional news channel to a national player has allowed it to reach a wider audience and contribute to the diverse media landscape of India. Its distinctive programming for different language groups, hyper-local news coverage, and focus on socio-political issues make it an important news channel in preserving cultural diversity and addressing the needs of its viewers.

3. Asianet News (Malayalam)

Asianet News is a dominant player in the Malayalam news genre, catering to the specific needs and interests of the people of Kerala. With its extensive coverage of Kerala’s politics, culture, and environmental issues, Asianet News has established itself as a trusted source of information for the Malayalam-speaking population.

Dominance in Malayalam News Genre

Asianet News holds a significant market share in the highly competitive Malayalam news segment. The channel’s journalists and reporters are known for their in-depth analysis, comprehensive reporting, and accurate coverage of news events. They have built a strong reputation for delivering news with integrity and credibility.

Extensive Coverage of Kerala’s Politics

Asianet News goes beyond just reporting on political developments; it delves into the intricacies of Kerala’s politics. The channel covers election campaigns, rallies, political debates, and interviews with key political figures. It provides viewers with a nuanced understanding of the political landscape in the state.

Focus on Culture and Environment Issues

Asianet News recognizes the importance of preserving Kerala’s rich cultural heritage and highlighting environmental concerns. The channel features programs that showcase Kerala’s diverse cultural traditions, festivals, and art forms. Additionally, it raises awareness about environmental issues affecting the state, such as deforestation, pollution, and climate change.

Significance of Regional News Channels

Regional news channels like Asianet News play a crucial role in preserving cultural diversity and addressing hyper-local issues. They give voice to local communities, shed light on regional challenges, and promote regional languages. These channels also provide a platform for local talent to showcase their expertise and contribute to the journalism industry.

In a country as linguistically diverse as India, regional news channels ensure that news is accessible to people across different regions who may not be fluent in national languages like Hindi or English. They bridge the gap between mainstream national news channels and local audiences, catering to their specific needs and interests.

Asianet News exemplifies the impact and importance of language-specific news channels in serving regional communities and addressing their unique concerns. Its dominance in the Malayalam news genre reflects the channel’s ability to connect with viewers on a deeper level, providing them with relevant and engaging content.

Furthermore, studies have shown that consumption of regional news positively influences civic engagement and political participation among individuals. These channels foster a sense of belonging and identity, empowering citizens to actively participate in shaping their communities.

Additionally, regional news outlets also contribute to the preservation of local history and heritage. Research has found that local newspapers play a vital role in documenting historical events and cultural practices, ensuring that they are not forgotten over time.

Therefore, Asianet News’ comprehensive coverage of Kerala’s politics, culture, and environmental issues not only informs its audience but also empowers them to engage with their community and preserve their rich cultural heritage for future generations.

The Changing Landscape of News Consumption

The rise of digital media and the era of social media has completely changed how people get their news. This change has brought both advantages and disadvantages for traditional news outlets.

1. Digital Transformation

The introduction of digital media has completely changed how people consume news. Now, anyone can access information instantly through online platforms and mobile apps. This shift has given power to the audience, allowing them to choose when and where they want to engage with news content. As a result, traditional television viewership has significantly decreased.

2. Rise of Social Platforms

Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter have become major sources of news for many people. These platforms allow users to share and discuss current events in real-time, making it easier than ever to stay updated on the latest happenings. In order to stay relevant, news channels have had to adapt their strategies and use social media to interact with their audience and promote their brand.

3. Challenges for Traditional Channels

With the rise of digital media and social platforms, traditional news channels are now facing a big challenge – how to keep their audience interested in a world full of online content. In order to survive, they need to come up with new ways to deliver their content that align with what consumers want and grab the attention of viewers who are always connected through technology.

4. Opportunities for Engagement

While there are challenges, there are also opportunities for traditional news channels in the digital age. Digital media and social platforms give them a chance to reach a wider audience, especially younger demographics who are more active online. They can also try out different ways of telling stories through interactive formats like videos or podcasts. By embracing these changes, traditional news channels can still stay relevant in today’s fast-changing media landscape.

The relationship between digital media and traditional news channels is constantly evolving, and it will continue to shape how we consume news in the future. To succeed in this changing landscape, news outlets need to be flexible and innovative.

Ensuring Credibility and Avoiding Sensationalism

Explore the responsibility of news channels in upholding credibility through accurate and balanced journalism, and the need to avoid sensationalism for TRP gains.

In the era of digital media and intense competition for viewership, news channels play a pivotal role in shaping public opinion. It’s essential for them to maintain journalistic integrity and ethical reporting standards. Here’s how news channels can ensure credibility and avoid sensationalism:

  1. Accurate and Balanced Journalism: News channels must prioritize fact-checking and verification of information before broadcasting it. They should provide comprehensive coverage of events without bias, presenting multiple perspectives to enable viewers to form informed opinions.
  2. Ethical Reporting Standards: Upholding ethical reporting standards involves respecting the privacy of individuals, avoiding defamation, and refraining from broadcasting graphic or insensitive content that may sensationalize news for the sake of higher TRP ratings.
  3. Promoting Public Interest: News channels should focus on stories that have a significant impact on society, rather than prioritizing sensational or trivial stories solely for entertainment value.

Maintaining credibility is crucial for news channels to retain public trust and fulfill their role as reliable sources of information in a rapidly evolving media landscape.


It is important to encourage readers to explore a diverse range of news sources beyond television channels, such as digital news platforms and print media, to get a holistic understanding of current affairs.

Individuals play a crucial role in verifying information before believing or sharing it, especially in the age of social media where fake news can easily spread.

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