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Doordarshan Is All Set For A Comeback

News Link: Doordarshan Is All Set For A Comeback

A makeover for the public broadcaster is urgent, necessary and possible
With the pandemic still raging, a sleek, virtual conference is a good way to welcome the world to India, in preparation for 2022 and the future.

DD takes its viewers back to staid but solid reporting of the news essential in a democracy. The controversy that erupted over the last few weeks over TRPs and India’s true television viewing habits have highlighted the fundamental lack of both trustworthy data and a trustworthy voice in the Indian media landscape. There is, however, one broadcaster that does have public support and dedicated, non-controversial viewership – Doordarshan.

Now is a good time to give this steady player a serious and long-overdue makeover, to push it closer to the realm of global public broadcasters.

Two reasons why. First, news has become entertainment not journalism, and DD takes its viewers back to staid but solid reporting of the news essential in a democracy. Second, in 2022, India will be in the global limelight as president of the prestigious G20. India will also celebrate 75 years of Independence in 2022. According to Gateway House, a foreign policy think tank in Mumbai involved in the global G20 engagement, a new-age public broadcaster is needed. India needs to amplify its position on the global stage on subjects ranging from climate change to digital governance, both during the build-up to the G20 and after the summit. The public broadcaster has its work cut out. With some structural change and digital upgradation starting now DD and Prasar Bharati can be ready for it.

It doesn’t have to be a big investment. Prasar Bharati has made many changes already, like digitisation of its archives, and is in the process of cleaning up the agency’s wasteful expenditure and draining contracts.

That is a mountain to climb, because Prasar Bharati has multiple, overlapping offerings. Its seven key offerings are AIR, AIR News, DD, DD News, DD Free Dish (DTH), DTT (Digital Terrestrial Television), and a digital app called News On Air. These are broadcast internationally too, reaching 120 countries through various tie-ups. Doordarshan continues to produce and broadcast a vast array of programmes and shows in all languages in India, with maximum reach across the country. Its sister broadcaster, the All India Radio, has increased its listenership since Prime Minister Modi’s popular Mann ki Baat began broadcasting six years ago.

In these rocky times for the media, Doordarshan and Prasar Bharati is a steady ship, with respect, reach, width and depth.

Though tight on funds, it will continue to be supported by the Central government. But its dated technology, its old look and feel and dismal social media presence makes it unattractive to India’s vast new-age youth, which is the target audience of its competitors.

A little fixing can help achieve these goals. Doordarshan/Prasar Bharati can do the following. One, India’s vaunted software experts can give DD/PB the most seamless, most cutting-edge, most forward-looking web application that takes the viewer through everything with clarity. Its news content should reflect DD’s privileged access to government officials and politicians. Tight security features and search engine optimization will bring DD up on every Google search on India news,a feature it currently lacks.

Compiled by – MK (Editor)

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News Link: Doordarshan Is All Set For A Comeback

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