Prasar Bharati is India’s largest public broadcaster. It is an autonomous body set up by an Act of Parliament and comprises Doordarshan television network and All India Radio which were earlier media units of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India. It was formed based on the model of BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation), which is a British public service broadcaster.
Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff. Its main responsibility is to provide public service broadcasting in the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man. Going by the knowledge that Prasar Bharati is basically and Indian version of the BBC, it is odd that one may find extreme differences between the functioning of the two bodies.
While the BBC functions more or less like a privately owned News body, free from excessive government interference and influence, Prasar Bharati, on the other hand, reflects and image of being a puppet in the puppeteer hands of the Indian government. Both news bodies receive their raw material, facts and news tidbits from reliable sources, and both come under the government of their respective countries, hence one may wonder, why the difference? In order to answer this question, we need to look at the social and political functioning of both countries.
India was formerly British territory but is now independent. When the British left the country, they left behind a skeleton of India’s current infrastructure. When Indian officials were elected to government posts, the country faced certain amounts of struggle due to the various social sectors having their own demands. Britain, on the other hand, I feel, is a more socially united mass than India is. This makes it easier for the government to operate smoothly.
Apart from this, the kind of corruption that exists in the government creates a lot of sensational news that could bring about a mass revolution and hence, the government is forced to hide the ‘black’ news from the public. This serves to be a major difference in between both networks. Though the BBC and Prasar Bharati are both government funded news channels, the BBC has more freedom and more funds to provide the people with complete and reliable facts, coupled with good presentation and satisfying delivery tinted with entertainment.
Prasar Bharati on the other hand does not match up to the BBC standards because, I feel, it is overly controlled and poorly funded to provide its audience with aesthetic appeal. An audience with the knowledge of corruption within the government is also bound to severely scrutinize the news that is being provided to them by the government itself. Thus, the obvious differences between both bodies.