DD News to focus on viewer education and awareness - minus sensation

Last Updated: Sun, Feb 09, 2014 15:52 hrs

New Delhi: India's state-run broadcaster Doordarshan News, which claims it has 50 percent of the national viewership among the 389 news and current affairs channels in the country, is tying up with Bombay Stock Exchange to launch a new business programme on financial literacy as part of a move to have more viewer-relevant information, viewer education and viewer awareness in its eclectic coverage.

"It is for the first time that DD News is going into collaborations with other organisations. We have not done this before, and we hope to bring viewers some new insights into our programmes," Additional Director General DD News Mayank Agrawal told IANS.

DD News is tying up with the Bombay Stock Exchange to launch a new business programme on financial literacy that kickstarts Feb 10. The hour-long programme would be shown five days a week, Monday to Friday at the 8.30-9.30 p.m. slot.

Its programme on the Right To Information Act, titled Janne ka Haq, has been running for the past few years. It has tied up with the Department of Personnel and Training (DOPT) to take the programme forward.

A 12-episode extended version of the programme, titled Janne ka Haq - Aap ke shahar mein (The right to know - in your city), being sponsored by the DoPT is being telecast. "It shows different stories about the RTI, the problems people face in different cities. Two episodes have been shot, in Srinagar and Chandigarh, and we have telecast them, "Agrawal said.

Another venture - on promoting non-motorised transport - is on the anvil. For this, DD News has tied up with the Urban Development Ministry. A four-episode programme will promote cycling, walking and the use of public transport, says Agrawal. "We have roped in actor Rahul Bose as anchor," he said, adding that it will be shot on the lines of Aamir Khan's reality talk show Satyameva Jayatey, with an audience and a government official in the studio for an interactive episode.

"We will also show best examples and success models from India and abroad," Agrawal added. Among the focus cities would be Nanded in Maharashtra where cycling is popular, Bangalore and also Amsterdam in Holland, he said.

DD News - the only news channel broadcast on satellite, cable and terrestrial network - has planned out a new programme - Janadesh - for wide coverage of the elections. It would be launched in the middle of March.

"It is a special programme for the elections. We are selecting anchors and panellists," Doordarshan News Director General S.M. Khan told IANS.

The 12-episode programme will have on board anchors, analysts and psephologists, who will take inputs from various constituencies, discuss election trends, candidates and the profiles of constituencies, he said.

According to the Prasar Bharati website, DD News "is the undisputed leader in terms of absolute viewership with about 50 per cent share among TV news channels."

Khan maintains that DD News discusses all issues, minus the sensationalism. "We provide hard news. We discuss all controversial news, and there is no censorship," he said, and gave the example of its Newsnight programme that is beamed live from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. "We carry the views of the panellists. Whatever is there, whatever people say is shown. There is no question of censorship," added Khan.

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