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A new Bollywood film delves into the highly competitive world of television news reporting in India, putting the spotlight on the media industry's insatiable appetite for advertisers and viewers.
"Rann" (Battle), directed by top filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma, is touted as a behind-the-scenes look at how news channels greedy for ratings are being manipulated into sensationalizing stories to grab eyeballs.
"What will the media do if torn between commerce on one hand and conscience on the other -- that is the premise of this film," lead actor Amitabh Bachchan said at a press conference on Wednesday.
Bachchan, arguably India's biggest superstar, plays the head of a prominent news channel in "Rann". Other channel bigwigs, an honest reporter, an unscrupulous industrialist and a power-hungry politician complete the cast.
With more than 60 English and regional-language news channels in India beaming into TV-owning homes, the film comes at a time when broadcasters are scrambling to provide exclusive content.
Indian television channels were criticized by security agencies for showing live pictures of November's Mumbai attacks and allegedly giving away important information to attackers trapped inside hotels and a Jewish centre.
"In order to be able to hold a person's attention, the only way they can do it is to create high drama," said director Varma.

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