The senior entertainment reporter shares how with the influx of many channels and freelancers covering the beat, entertainment reportage is no longer as interesting as it used to two decades ago .

Entertainment reporting is no longer interesting, because it has turned into a circus – Amit Tyagi

The job of an entertainment reporter looks glossy from outside but it’s not just parties and fun as it’s been perceived to be. Amit Tyagi, Executive Editor of India Today Group has been covering entertainment for more than a decade and has seen the evolution as well fall of entertainment journalism especially television reporting over years.

Amit says he chose entertainment as his beat as he loves cinema and wanted to do extensive reporting in the beat, but hardly these days a reporter gets to report cinema as an art. What started off as serious reporting of cinema has now turned into a circus. That’s how Amit feels about what’s happening with entertainment news media. Amit shares his journey when he started reporting for cinema in 2004. He said, “There were just 4 channels, one wire and reputed newspapers and magazines. But now there are almost 100 national, regional as well as international TV channels, which cover entertainment in 2023.”

Amit added, “Then we also have the so-called digital channels, some credible and some fly-by-night operators. In any Bollywood event the heart aches to see the crowd that comes to cover these events. It’s good that the medium has become lucrative but it’s bad because there is no scope of any personal or exclusive interview or story.”

Amit denies that the role of an entertainment reporter is easy or fancy. He says, “The job of an entertainment reporter is as hard as any other beat like politics, crime or business. People feel that entertainment reporters attend parties, wines and dines with celebs but that’s not actually the case. Waiting endlessly for actors for an interview is a test of patience. Going on sets of any TV show at far-off locations is quite daunting like a crime reporter going to a police station for a story. Taking a proper sound byte of an actor among 200 mikes is like juggling a circus ball for a reporter .”

Lately post the pandemic entertainment news has been majorly centered around deaths, suicides, drug cases, arrests and court cases. Amit shares, “The worst kind of reporting for an entertainment journalist is when a celeb passes away or a celeb gets married because in case of death, numerous police investigations and visiting courts for the proceedings. During weddings, it becomes even more cumbersome because mostly they don’t want to talk to the media. Standing on roads with the public in heat, sweating or getting wet in the rain is anything but glamorous. But, the show has to go on.”

Amit lists some tough stories of his journalistic career :-

1) Sushant Singh Rajput’s death
2) Pratyusha Banerjee’s suicide
3) Siddarth Shukla’s death
4) Tunisha sharma’s suicide
5 ) Funeral of actress Sridevi
6) Sanjay Dutt’s court case
7) Salman khan’s court case
8 ) Shahrukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan arrest
9) Lata Mangeshkar’s death
10) Dilip Kumar’s funeral