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Prasar Bharati to launch DD International to counter global narrative on India’s fight against COVID-19

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India’s national broadcaster, Doordarshan (DD) is going to set up a new international channel, DD International, on the lines of BBC World to present India’s point of view to the world in wake of the rising negative coverage of India’s COVID-19 crisis in foreign media.

Prasar Bharati to launch DD International to counter global narrative on India’s fight against COVID-19

India’s national broadcaster, Doordarshan (DD) is going to set up a new international channel, DD International, on the lines of BBC World to present India’s point of view to the world in wake of the rising negative coverage of India’s COVID-19 crisis in foreign media.

Prasar Bharati, the parent body of DD, has floated an Expression of Interest (EOI) last week seeking suggestions to draft a detailed project report for the upcoming news channel. This move comes after the government received global criticism from the media worldwide on the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The EOI states that the strategic objective is to build a global presence for Doordarshan and to establish an international voice for India. DD International as a channel will specifically tell “the India story to a global audience”.

To reach out to the global audience, Doordarshan intends to have bilateral distribution arrangements with select broadcasters in other countries apart from live streaming through Prasar Bharati’s global digital platform.

This is the second channel from the stable of DD with a similar objective. The first, DD India, is an English news and current affairs channel that also reaches out to the global audience.

According to a report in The Print, officials at Prasar Bharati have been working on this project for many months and the officials informed that as the organization does not have any prior experience in setting up a global channel, they had to resort to hiring a private consulting firm to prepare the detailed project report and the roadmap for this.

DD International intends to create a “talent hub” for global media professionals, rope in international reporters on a freelance basis and engage global talent to build a worldwide workforce.

Officials from DD said it was felt that India’s perspective was getting lost in the noise, according to The Hindu.

India’s overwhelming COVID crisis has dominated headlines, in the last few weeks, across a wide range of international publications and online news platforms like The New York Times, The Washington Post, the BBC, The Australian, The Economist and news agency Reuters. This has created a negative image of the present BJP-ruled government.