BBC Worldwide, one of the oldest news services in the world, has planned to send 30 reporters on a special train journey to report on the lok Sabha elections to its 20-million-strong audience in India. It has already worked out the logistics with the Indian Railways.
The election train, according to BBC, will begin the journey on April 25 from New Delhi and will cover Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bhubaneswar, Kolkata, Patna and Allahabad, before returning to the capital on May 13.
BBC World Service executive editor for South Asia, Nazes Afroz said, “The purpose of travelling across the nation with a team of 30 reporters from our various language services and various media forms like TV, online and radio, is to investigate the key themes surrounding the elections and what Indians want from the polls.”
He pointed out, “We covered the US presidential elections, travelling across the nation over six weeks on a bus and used a boat to cover the recent Bangladesh national polls. We realised that if one has to properly capture the mood of India, taking a train is the best way.”
Equipped with communication devices like satellite phones, the reporters will alight from the train at places to get in-depth understanding of situations. “Our reporters will use mobile Internet, but the reports will not be live. Although satellite phones can’t be used from moving trains, we cam generate a lot of material on our laptops and use them later,” Afroz said.
Besides, the journey will help BBC reporters ascertain India’s place in the global economy. He said, “The world wonders how India is managing to still grow at a rate of around six per cent. There has not been a meltdown here, but a slowdown. And people want to know how.”