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Prasar Bharti’s International Foray Must Be Born Online, Recommends Sam Pitroda Committee

A government committee, charged with reviewing India’s national broadcasting network Prasar Bharti, has recommended that it must set up an international channel which will begin its run on new media like YouTube & Twitter, to rival the likes of the BBC & Al Jazeera.

The launch and distribution of the official “global” channel, must begin with social media and then move on to mainstream television in order to garner maximum reach outside of India, the committee recommended.

“When we wish to address the world we need to address digitally connected consumers first,” said the committee comprising of representatives from Google, Facebook, Twitter & the government. If the government okays the recommendations, the channel will be born digital, so to say.

The global channel will be separate from DD’s domestic channels and will primarily air documentaries, entertainment, sports and other content from an Indian context, but inspired by global channel.

The channels will be governed by a trust on the lines of the BBC Trust.

The step is one among many suggested in a report submitted by a Sam Pitroda led committee to help restructure Prasar Bharati – the world’s largest public broadcaster by size. Prasar Bharati runs Doordarshan (DD) and the All India Radio (AIR) in India. The report suggests social media and digital to be the way forward for the 17 year old organisation.

Here’s a look at some other recommendations.

National Broadcast Archives

Digitisation of both DD and AIR archives. It will use cloud technology to store data, media assessment management systems (MAM) and Cube workflow software among others.

Prasar Bharati Digital (PBD)

Prasar Bharati Digital will be an authentic, reliable, accessible, scalable and highly interactive platform bringing India together. Prasar Bharati will bring together Doordarshan (DD), All India Radio (AIR), RSTV, LSTV, Government, Industry, Civil Society, and Citizens via the PBD Platform.

  • PBD can work with DD and AIR to integrate use of social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook with some of their existing shows and/or in creating new shows.

  • Ensuring access of Prasar Bharati content on digital/ mobile platforms

  • Completely transform the existing PB, DD & AIR websites to make them more appealing, interactive and engaging. The websites should also integrate with the existing social media channels of DD & AIR

  • The producers of both TV and radio will need to be retrained in how to create programming keeping in mind interactive component in mind for new media

  • PBD must launch, in due course of time, the use of mobile apps to disseminate and popularise content via smartphones.

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