CPC Delhi: Guinea Pig for DD News

It's indeed a good news for all of us that DD News has picked up in a big way. In the very first month of its inception, it has placed itself at number two position. Efforts are in full swing to make it No-1 news channel in the near future. Reason for all of us to celebrate! Well, that's where the bad news starts for us. For placing it at number One, Prasar Bharati Management seems to believe that the staff of Doordarshan is not capable of doing it, and they need contract staff for carrying out this task! Isn't it an irony that, the very staff who made it possible for DD News to come to No-2 position in just about a month's time, is not being considered fit enough to carry on with the mission. Reason being advanced is - the staff strength is not adequate and we do not want to overburden the staff. We can only smile on this statement, because, it is no secret that our members have been overburdened for quite a while now in different LPTs and LRSs. Nobody is bothered about them.

Only thing being considered is 'how to run the DD-News with the help of outsiders only'. The intentions are very clear; some people want to brighten their post retirement future together with their present.
Once they build a parallel organization, they are bound to get posts in that organization. The moot point here is, did they give any thought to this idea prior to implementation. May be, but, representative Associations were not considered fit enough for being taken into confidence. In fact the planning and execution was done in such hush-hush manner, that the engineering staff of CPC Delhi was in for surprise when they saw a crowd of people, young and old, entering the premises. Soon these operators (that's the name given to these people) then started querying the technical staff about how to switch on the VTRs, CGs and other equipment. Things became little clear when the CPC's Station Engineer came and asked some of the EAs, SEAs and AEs to train these operators so that they can take charge of DD-News from next day onwards. All of the technical staff was in for a rude shock and started questioning the basis of such a decision. It was then known that these people have been hired by BECIL to run DD-News. ARTEE resented the decision and opposed it. As a result the decision was kept in abeyance till discussions are held with us.

We have been warning the authorities about the dangers of such a casual approach towards running AIR and DD. To fortify our assertion one case in example is CNN's experiment with truth. CNN, one of the pioneer broadcasting organisations of the world had tried its hand on the philosophy of employing technical and camera crew on contract/casual basis for the last few years. The experience has backfired in a big way. Reasons - casual approach, lack of sense of belongingness and above all uncertainty of vital coverage being done. For example: CNN, entrusts Mr X to cover an event, with a payment of US$ 50. After the event is covered by Mr. X, some other TV channel approaches Mr. X and asks for the recording and offers US$ 75. A copy of the recording is immediately given to the 'other channel' by Mr. X! Such events have forced TV channels worldwide to do away with the contractual arrangement and instead recruit the staff. Now Prasar Bharati is keen to follow the same philosophy that has been rejected all over the world and is contemplating recruiting casual engineers in a big way, not withstanding the ill effects in the media which may affect the morale of the staff and in effect the services of AIR and Doordarshan.