Anna not a big deal for DD, AIR | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Anna not a big deal for DD, AIR

delhi Updated: Aug 20, 2011 00:14 IST
Sanjib Kr Baruah

Even as support for Anna Hazare and his campaign has captured the imagination of the TV channels across the country, public broadcasters Doordarshan (DD) and All India Radio (AIR) have maintained a relative silence.

"DD's coverage of Anna Hazare have not found prominence in our headlines. Even on Thursday, when crowds were swelling up outside Delhi's Tihar jail and elsewhere across the country, our first headline was the impeachment proceedings of Justice Soumitra Sen in Parliament," said a DD insider on condition of anonymity.

"Nor has there been any live coverage which is unusual for something of this magnitude," he added.

On Friday's prime time, 8pm news, DD carried news of Anna's release from jail in fourth place.

DD is the country's most watched channel according to the Doordarshan Audience Research Television Ratings' survey from 22 May to 28 May 2011.

"We have been covering the event although no live coverages have been done as we have to run 35 news bulletins in 25 hours," said SM Khan, director-general, DD News.

The coverage in AIR has been no different. "Anna continues to face a near blackout from our headlines," said an AIR announcer.

AIR reaches out to 99% of the country's population and covers 92% of the country's total area.

Government mouthpieces DD and AIR's coverage or the lack of it is not surprising given that toeing the official line is the usual norm.