Prasar Bharati may get digital wing

NEW DELHI, June 23:
To keep up with the changing times, public broadcaster Prasar Bharati may get a digital wing to reach out to the increasing number of Internet and smartphone users, if recommendations of a working group formed by the government are accepted.
The working group has said in addition to television and radio, Prasar Bharati should get a third arm – Prasar Bharati Digital – to connect with new age users.
Officials said the government had earlier appointed an expert committee headed by technocrat Sam Pitroda to examine the functioning of Prasar Bharati, which then created 11 working groups to examine various aspects of the public broadcaster.
One of these working groups, which was headed by Pankaj Pachauri, communications advisor in the PMO, had suggested creation of Prasar Bharati Digital, sources told PTI.
The sub-committee is learnt to have recommended that Prasar Bharati’s digital wing should be authentic, accessible and a highly interactive platform.
Prasar Bharati Digital should in due course launch mobile apps to disseminate and popularise its content on smartphones, the sub-panel on new media has recommended.
In the recommendations submitted to the Expert Committee, the panel has suggested that Prasar Bharati Digital should be set up with a team of 10 young professionals headed by a director and supported by three additional directors, an official said.
The sub-committee has also envisaged that the new entity would work closely with Doordarshan and AIR, and report directly to the Prasar Bharati board.
As per the recommendations, Prasar Bharati’s digital wing would not only source content from Doordarshan, AIR and other government organisations but also facilitate generation of new streams of content.
The sub committee’s suggestions would now be studied by the Expert Committee which has Pitroda, former I&B secretary Asha Swaroop, filmmaker Shekhar Kapur, IIT professor M P Gupta and Prasar Bharati CEO Jawhar Sircar as members.
Sources said the working group on new media has also suggested that the online and social media presence of Doordsarshan should be increased and also called for bringing out a social media policy that can guide Prasar Bharati in its approach.
It has suggested that the present websites of Prasar Bharati, Doordarshan and All India Radio should be made more interactive and engaging. The committee has also recommended increasing activity and engagement levels of the existing social media channels of these sites.
It has also recommended that producers of television as well as radio content should be trained on how to create programmes which are interactive.
The working group has stressed that Prasar Bharati must create guidelines that could serve as a Social Media Policy for its employees as well as users. It has advocated the need to come out with a short term as well as long term social media strategy for Prasar Bharati. (PTI)


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