Posted: 28 Jul 2009 Print Send a link
"The government wants to 'voice the Indian position and viewpoint on sensitive issues in as many countries as possible and at the earliest possible', according to the information & broadcasting ministry's outcome budget document (2009-10). To that end, it is planning to launch a television channel modelled on the United Kingdom's BBC and Qatar's Al Jazeera. The proposal is at the formulation stage, but this isn't the first time that such plans have been floated. The objective is to air India's position globally, like CCTV does for China, the document pointed out. 'It will involve introduction of international news and programming through the DD News channel, with simulcasting on DD India, which has a footprint in many countries.' An estimated Rs100 crore [1,000,000,000 rupees, about US$21 million] is likely to be spent on setting up the channel; public broadcaster Prasar Bharati has been directed to prepare a plan." DNA (Mumbai), 27 July 2009. I tried to track down the ministry's budget document, without success. In preparing its plan, Prasar Bharati will have to decide if its model will be BBC, Al Jazeera, or CCTV. It will also have to decide if the channel will "voice the Indian position and viewpoint," or if it will broadcast news. The new channel cannot do the latter credibly if it is also doing the former.