Prasar Bharati getting ready to tell the India story offshore
Public broadcaster Prasar Bharati is all set to tell the India story globally through a twin initiative – beaming programmes on DD India, a television channel, and through digital app newsonair, which collates news broadcasts and special features from TV and radio.
According to functionaries aware of developments, work is underway to strengthen programme content and bolster human resource deployment for both platforms, which will be made accessible to audiences in a wide geographical zone over the coming weeks. Prasar Bharati is an autonomous body under the ministry of information and broadcasting, with Doordarshan (DD) and All India Radio (AIR) as its broadcast arms.
The proposal to launch a platform for dissemination of news and views from an Indian perspective, and with the national interest in mind, was mooted in 2017 by a committee headed by Prasar Bharati chairperson A Surya Prakash.
The idea was to reach an English-speaking audience, global opinion-makers and influencers, apart from the Indian diaspora. Programme content will be designed to offer a counter to the narrative presented by the foreign media.
According to Prasar Bharati CEO Shashi Shekhar Vempanti, “As part of our international outreach, a global voice for India will be our priority. Our effort will be to strengthen DD India with a strong content line up with a global outlook. Parallelly, we will strengthen the AIR world service. And all of this will come together on Prasar Bharati’s digital platform, which has been made mobile-accessible on the Android and iOS platforms through the #newsonair app.”
DD India is currently available in Canada over the Asian Television Network, in the US over the ITV Network and in Mauritius over the Mauritius Broadcasting Corporation. Recently, the I&B ministry signed agreements with the Korean Broadcasting Corporation and Bangladesh TV to beam DD India in South Korea and Bangladesh; in return, BTV World, a channel owned by Bangladesh TV, and KBS World, an English language 24x7 channel of the South Korean government, will be available on DD Free Dish.
DD India will have correspondents across the globe to bring news to Indian audiences as well as present news from India.
Another functionary on anonymity said there would be an emphasis on broadcasts from strategic locations such as the US, the UAE and the neighbourhood.
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