Friday, November 26, 2010

Indian broadcast staff plan second strike

Employees of India’s national broadcasters, Doordarshan (DDI) and All India Radio (AIR), are planning a second strike following a two-day stoppage this week. They are demanding the repeal of the Prasar Bharati Act, which they say gives the broadcasters autonomy only in day-to-day matters, without financial viability, the Business Standard reports. Prasar Bharati, the national broadcasting corporation, oversees the two organisations.

“There is no money to upgrade infrastructure at Prasar Bharati. Our office buildings are in shambles. Prasar Bharati is not financially viable. We want to function as independent media units but under the government,” S Anilkumar, Chairman of the National Federation of Akashvani and Doordarshan Employees, said.

The federation described the strike on Tuesday and Wednesday as a resounding success, saying 1,700 of DDI’s 1,800 stations had gone off the air. Official sources said the operations of DDI and AIR were “badly affected”, the Hindustan Times reports.

DDI’s Director General, Aruna Sharma, told the Press Trust of India that four regional centres stopped operating during the strike but that the News channel and the Asian Games telecast continued to air as usual.

The federation said the next strike would last for three days from 13 December.
(Source: Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union/R Netherlands Media Network Weblog)