'Autonomy for PB "long way off" but in process to achieve it'

'Autonomy for PB "long way off" but in process to achieve it'

Newly appointed Prasar Bharti Chairman A Surya Prakash today said autonomy to the public broadcaster was still a 'long way off' but "we must proceed in the direction to achieve it."

Speaking after being felicitated by the Press Club of Bangalore and Bangalore Reporters' Guild here, he said Prasar Bharti was an autonomous corporation and there was no question of going back on it.

He said 90 per cent of the employees in Prasar Bharti are from the central government and there were some media persons on contract. "Till this continues, the autonomy for Prasar Bharti is still a long way off and we must proceed in that direction to achieve autonomy but it's a process."

"We have to professionalise in terms of quality. We can do it and we must attempt to do it," he said responding to questions about Doordarshan and All India Radio.

In the last two or three years most private TV channels had ceased to be news channels and become "noise channels," Prakash, who was felicitated on becoming Prasar Bharti chief recently, said.

"What you get these days is noise, there is no news; ....what you see in prime time band today in news channels, not just Hindi or English even regional channels is there is 'maramari' going on....this is not good for anybody, this is not good for viewers."

".....so there is a great opportunity for us. I have started discussions with colleagues in DD News and I'm telling them that this opportunity which we must use. We must become credible news channel giving top class news.." he said.

Prakash said he has become Chairman of Prasar Bharati at a time which is very positive for Doordarshan.

He said 15 years ago when lots of private channels came on the scene, it seemed as if Doordarshan would not be able to cope and compete with them, as they were very aggressive and invested lot of money.

However, there was a great opportunity for DD news channel which must become a "credible news channel. Once we start doing that, we will take away viewers from private channels."

To a question on media control, Prakash said "Control is anathema to democracy and media. Government or anybody should not control the media and we should not allow doing it. If there are any shortcomings in our working we should self regulate, we should never allow anybody outside to interfere in the work of the media."

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