As the release of my new book grows closer, the more excited I become. We are now just a few days away from the official launch party, which is being held at the very swish Reform Club on London’s Pall Mall next Tuesday, attended by 60 or so guests, including many people from the industry.
Friends ask me why I wrote the book; it’s quite simple, really. It’s subtitled “An insider’s guide to launching and running news channels in the digital age” for a reason: my main aim is to try to assist some people to follow in my footsteps.
It may sound like a fanciful idea, but what’s wrong with being ambitious and thinking big? If my book can inspire and help just one person somewhere in the world to not just work for a TV news channel, but to start, run and own one, then I will be happy.
The digital revolution has made it easier, quicker and many times cheaper to launch a TV news service than it used to be. When I first went into the industry in the early 1990s, a naive accountant with no real knowledge of the business, I had to raise tens of millions in funding. Today, streaming a 24-hour news channel over the internet can be set up for a fraction of that.
When I launched my first TV news station, in the Middle East in 2003 (CNBC Arabiya), I searched in vain for a book that would act as a manual. I found publications that covered different areas – operations, newsrooms, HR etc – but nothing that encompassed all aspects of how to launch and manage a TV station. Fortunately, I was lucky enough to have good people around who helped me learn and to get things done.
So the purpose of TV News 3.0 is to try to plug that gap. I believe that it has everything that anyone seeking to become involved in the industry needs to know, from the entrepreneur who wishes to start or invest in a TV station to the media student hoping to make his or her mark.
I also hope it may be of some interest to ordinary people seeking to understand more about how the news they see on their screens is put together. I feel that I owe this work to an industry that has been so good to me.
TV News 3.0 is already widely available to pre-order, including here as both a paperback or ebook on Amazon, here on Barnes & Noble, on Google Play here, and at Liberty Books, Pakistan’s largest online bookstore here. If you do buy and read the book, I’d love you to let me know what you think of it, by leaving me a message on my website here or by emailing me directly, at firstname.lastname@example.org.